Increase Your Home’s Value Up to 28% with These 5 Tips

Great curb appeal not only makes your home the star of the neighborhood, it can also improve its value and help you sell it for more. Whether you’re thinking of listing your home or just want to make your home the envy of your neighbors, here are several ways to increase your home’s curb appeal.

 1 – Make your home’s exterior look like new.

For many potential buyers, the condition of the exterior of a home can offer clues to the condition of the interior. The first place to start when boosting curb appeal is the exterior of your house.

Paint. Paint is the best way to make your home appear newer. While you can paint your home yourself, if it’s large or more than one story, consider hiring a professional. Painting is a fairly inexpensive improvement with between 60 to 100 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your siding. Over time, weather and the elements can make your home’s siding appear dull and dirty. Use a pressure washer to clean stains, spider webs and accumulated dirt and grime, or use a soft cloth and a household cleaner to get into those small nooks and spaces. Although the average life expectancy of siding ranges from 60 to 100 years, depending on the material, extreme weather may reduce this number. If you need to replace the siding, you’ll enjoy a 77 percent return on investment.1

Paint or replace garage doors. If your garage doors are in good condition, give them a new coat of paint. If they’re beginning to show their age, consider replacing them. Not only are new garage doors more energy efficient and better insulated than older models, they also have a 91.5 percent return on investment.1

Maintain your fence. Replace rotted or worn posts and panels and freshen it up with a coat of paint. If you have a hedge that serves as your property’s border, keep it trimmed and in good shape.

2 – Pay attention to the small details.

The small details tie your home’s exterior together and help it stand out from others in the neighborhood.

Paint front door, trim and shutters. This inexpensive improvement adds brightness to a home, whether you choose a bold color, a neutral tone or classic white.

Install new door fixtures and be sure they match in style and finish and complement the style of your home.

Update your house numbers. Make sure potential buyers and guests can find your home. If the numbers have faded or need an update, replace them. If choosing a metallic finish, make sure it matches the finish of your exterior light fixtures.

3 – Tend to your driveway and lawn.

Well-landscaped homes may sell for between 5.5% and 12.7% more than other similar homes and studies show it may also add up to 28 percent to your home’s overall value.5

Place a border along your driveway or walkway made of brick, stone, pavers or another hardscape element to add visual interest to a plain driveway.

Maintain your green space. If you have grass, a well-maintained, green lawn makes your home look inviting and picturesque. However, in many parts of the country, water conservation is becoming more important. Xeriscaped landscapes incorporate drought-tolerant vegetation that thrives in warm, dry climates, such as lavender, sage, wisteria and agave, with water-saving drip irrigation and mulch. Xeriscaping has a cost savings of 36 cents per square foot annually through reduced irrigation and maintenance costs.3 Additionally, these landscapes are virtually maintenance free, which makes it an attractive option for busy buyers.

Include trees and shrubs to create texture and add interest to your landscape. Planting a few types of trees and shrubs of varying heights, widths and flowering times boosts your home’s curb appeal year-round.

4 – Make it feel inviting.

It’s no secret that emotions play a role in a person’s decision to purchase a home. Stage the outside of your home to evoke warm feelings.

Stage your porch. If you have a front porch, make it feel more inviting by including seating, such as a chair or loveseat, an outdoor rug and a small table. If space is an issue, incorporate small decorative touches, such as a festive wreath or potted plant.

Hang flower boxes on your front porch railings and/or below your windows. If you don’t want to affix flower boxes to your home, purchase nice planters and containers and place them around your porch or on your front steps.

Choose flowers and plants that bloom at different times of the year for year-round appeal. For example, bulbs not only bloom all spring, they also multiply and come up every year. Perennials often flower for most of the year and will prevent you from having to replant them every year.

If you don’t have a green thumb, choose low maintenance plants and flowers. Flowers such as lavender, rosemary, and zinnias are a few low-maintenance and drought-tolerant options.

5 – Boost Your Online “Curb Appeal.”

For those interested in selling, it’s important to know the effect online curb appeal has on a home. The better impression your home gives online, the more likely buyers will want to see it in person. Here’s how to get your home ready for its listing debut.

Stage your home. Staging shows your home in its best light and helps potential buyers picture themselves living there.

Hire a professional to take photos. A photographer has the skills and equipment to shoot your home in the best light and make it look its best.

Include a short video tour of the home. Videos are becoming a popular way to give buyers a glimpse of the home before they step foot in it.

Are you thinking of boosting your home’s curb appeal or renovating your home before you list? Do you want help making your home more appealing to potential buyers online and in-person? Give us a call and we’ll help you present your home in its best light.

You can check out our current listings and homes we have sold to see how we stage and professionally the homes we list.

 

Sources: 1. Remodeling, 2016 Cost vs Value Report

  1. Realtor Mag, September 22, 2016
  2. REALTOR.com
  3. Houzz, Houzz & Home-U.S., June 2016
  4. Houselogic.com

 

The Real Home Value Calculator

Understanding your home value in today’s market is about more than pictures, software assessments and price-per-square-foot. Whether you’re a current homeowner thinking of selling or are house-hunting, it’s crucial you understand what factors affect home valuation. By partnering with a local market expert, sellers will avoid pricing their house out of the market (the kiss of death in real estate) and buyers will ensure they get a good deal on their next home.

So, how do you accurately calculate a home’s value? After all, the value a home is assigned by its town or county and the one it’s given when it’s listed are often dramatically different from one another. Which one is accurate and what does it all mean? Read on to learn more.

Assessed Value vs Market Value: What’s the difference?

When it comes to home value, you’ll often hear two terms, assessed value and market value.

A home’s assessed value is often the lower number of the two, and is the value given by your municipality or county. Investopedia defines assessed value as “the dollar value assigned to a property to measure applicable taxes.”1 Although property tax laws vary, assessors commonly arrive at this number by taking into account the following:

  • What comparable/similar homes are selling for in your area.
  • The value of recent improvements.
  • Income from renting out a room or space on the property.
  • How much it would cost to rebuild on the property.

A home’s market value, or Fair Market Value, is the price a buyer is willing to pay or a seller is willing to accept for a property. A skilled real estate professional will arrive at the value using a variety of metrics, including:

  • External characteristics, such as lot size, home style, the condition of the home and curb appeal.
  • Internal characteristics, such as the number of rooms and their size, the type and condition of the heating or HVAC system, the quality and condition of construction, the flow of the home, etc.
  • The sales price of comparable homes that have sold in your area.
  • Supply and demand; that is, how many buyers and sellers are in the area.
  • Location; that is, the quality and desirability of your neighborhood and other community amenities.

Why are these values often so different? An assessor usually estimates your property’s market value during a reassessment or if you make a physical change or improvement to it.2 As a result, a property may not be reassessed for many years. While your home’s market value may fluctuate with the market, your home’s assessed value is more likely to remain steady.3

What Determines a Home’s Value?

You’ve likely heard the motto of real estate: “Location, location, location.” This means a home’s value relies on its location. While the home and structures on the property will likely depreciate over time, the land beneath it tends to appreciate. Why? Land is in limited supply and a growing population puts increased demand on the housing supply. As a result, values increase.4

Other factors that affect your home’s value include the function and appearance of the property, how well the home and other structures are maintained and whether the home is a lifestyle property, such as a ranch style with mountain views or beach bungalow.

Ultimately, the best indication of a home’s value is the overall supply and demand of the market. This is why we recommend you partner with a real estate professional who takes all of these factors—the assessed value, local market conditions, home features and has physically walked through and experienced your home— into consideration to determine the most accurate market value.

How to determine if a property is comparable to yours.

Both assessed value and market value are partially determined by the sales price of similar, or comparable, homes in the area. To determine if a home is comparable to yours, look for the following characteristics:

  • Lot size
  • Square footage
  • Home style or similar architecture
  • Age
  • Location

While you may not find a home with the same exact characteristics as yours, you’ll likely find a few that are close. To account for any disparity, adjust the sales prices of the comparable properties. Look at the differences between your property and the one in question and determine if the differences increased or decreased the sales price and by how much. For example, if your home has two bathrooms and a similar home only has three, estimate how much that extra bathroom increased the sale price of the similar home. The adjusted sale price is the estimation of what the property would sell for if the properties were exactly the same.2

Where can you find comparable sales?

Fortunately, you can find comparable home sales in a variety of places.2

  • Your local assessor’s office is able to provide a list of recent sales you can browse and compare or a sales history of a particular house, home style or neighborhood.
  • Your municipality. Many cities keep local sales information in their offices or post it online.
  • Online databases, such as a real estate database
  • Your local newspapers may offer some real estate information in the form of quarterly sales reports in the business or real estate sections of the newspaper.
  • Our office. We regularly do Comparable Market Analysis of homes in our local area.

How to calculate your home’s value.

By answering a few questions about your home, property and the local market, you can begin to estimate your property’s value. We’ve also included a worksheet for you below…

Home Value Questions:

  • When was your home last assessed?
  • What was its CMA assessment value?
  • What is your area’s average sales price?
  • What is your area’s average price/square foot?

Structure:

  • Is the architecture and exterior structure of the home consistent, superior or inferior to other homes in the area?
  • Does the era or genre (Modern, Victorian, Ranch, Cottage, Craftsman, etc.) add a premium based on current design trends?
  • How does the floor plan and room size proportions of the home compare to other homes on the market?

Interior Structure:

  • How does the kitchen compare to others on the market?
    • Updated or outdated
    • Floor plan
    • Appliance packages
  • How does the Master Suite compare to others on the market?
    • Size
    • First/second floor
    • Updated or outdated
    • Access to Master Bath
  • How does the Master Bath compare to others on the market?
    • Updated or outdated
    • Shower and bath
    • Flooring

Outside Areas:

  • Are there views, outdoor living areas or recreational areas?
    • Pools
    • Ponds
    • Patios
  • How does the landscaping and hard-scaping compare to the market? (e.g., built elements such as walkways, patios, decks, etc.)

Overall Condition of Home

  • What is the level of repair needed to compete with other homes?
  • Does the home need to be staged? How does it show?
  • What curb appeal projects are necessary to be consistent with others on the market?

Home Assessment Worksheet

Home Value Worksheet

If you want to accurately assess a home’s value, it’s crucial to know about the market activity of our local area. We can help! Give us a call to get the scoop on the local market.

 

Sources: 1. Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/a/assessedvalue.asp

  1. New York State Department of Taxation and Finance https://www.tax.ny.gov/pubs_and_bulls/orpts/mv_estimates.htm
  2. Realtor.com http://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/assessed-value-vs-market-value-difference/
  3. Investopedia, http://www.investopedia.com/articles/mortgages-real-estate/08/housing-appreciation.asp?lgl=myfinance-layout

 

Organize Your Life | 7 Step Formula

Welcome to 2016 … and National Get Organized Month. Like last year, we will kick the year off with 30 days of organizing ideas, helpful information and more. Today’s topic is reflective to help get you started.

How important is it to organize your life?

Everything in our life comes from how we organize it, right?

When everything is organized we can do more, achieve more, become more, and enjoy everything more too, can’t we? Can’t you?

Are you Overwhelmed? Frustrated? Dissatisfied? Life throws a lot at you. How are you managing it all until now?

Those who organize life will excel far beyond those that don’t because Life Organization is the biggest frontier of development opening up this decade.

Are you ready for that?! But what is it exactly that you are searching the net for regarding how to organize your life? What does it really mean to organize your life?

Do you want a solid grand system to totally organize your life? Do you want some temporary techniques to apply now? Would you like permanent principles for how to organize your entire life?

To organize life you will capture every worth while thought to efficiently choose your actions for all that is important to you, without wasting time or losing time, and allowing you to succeed at whatever you desire.

At times we get off track, whether practically, or with our efficiency, or emotionally.

Thinking About Selling Your Home?

Are you in the process of decluttering and organizing your home in preparation for selling it? Curious what is worth? We can help with a FREE home valuation.

At those times, I do a 10 Minute get-on-track check. Essentially it is about writing down things weighing on my mind. I know paper can be messy, but I find I remember and act on things better if I write them down. But not to worry – I use “sticky notes” on my laptop ALL the time. It’s a little overwhelming, but it works for me!

I use the following categories of self-questions to help me do my organize life 10 minute focus sessions.

  1. Organize Your Life for Self – Touching on my emotions and physical experience. Accept and appreciate how I feel right now. This is the core of how to organize life. It starts from within. Show yourself gratitude first.
  2. Organize Your Life for Yesterday – I then take a moment to reflect on yesterday, as that is where I have come from. Again, focus on the positive – it’s much more productive and helps to move you forward.
  3. Organize Your Life for Today – Think of the fixed appointments, the general layout of your day to come, and where the areas of your day are where you get to decide exactly what you do with the time.
  4. Organize Your Life for Civilization – What do you want to do in society? What is your place and purpose in terms of contribution and business? Paying it forward pays it back big time!
  5. Organize Your Life for Ideally Organized Living – Picture the biggest possible ideally organized living circumstances that fill your fantasy. This connects you with the spark of life.
  6. Organize Your Life for Projects – Now you are ready to consider the actual projects and responsibilities that you have in your life. Tasks, hobbies, interests, pursuits, business ideas, etc.
  7. Organize Your Life for Right Now – Through the above self-question process you are probably now ready to decide on the next step activities to organize your life even more.

This 10 minute review might take longer when you first do it. Take your time with it, and remember this article. I can tell you from experience that by doing this simple 10 minute process regularly your life will become more and more organized. And that’s only because when I stray from this system, things get crazy!

Looking To Buy A Home?

Are you in the process of organizing your paperwork in preparation for buying a home? Curious about the process?

Get The Facts About Selling Your West Cobb Home

The real estate market around West Cobb is hot! Homes are selling quickly and sometimes for more than asking price. During the month of April, homes sold in less than 30 days in West Cobb for a median value of 97.83% of list price. If you are considering selling your home, now may be the time, but get the facts about selling your West Cobb home. Selling your home can be a very complex, difficult and time consuming process, and requires a commitment on your part.

Some of the things you will need to be ready for include getting your home ready for sale. Statistics show that homes that are in move-in ready condition sell faster. Consider any cosmetic problems in your home as well as functional repairs and upgrades. You might want to have an inspection on your home prior to listing it, which will help you understand what might need to be done as well as help to eliminate the costs of paying a buyer’s contractor. Inspections can sometimes derail a sale, but if you have already addressed the problems, it is a non-issue.

Thinking of selling your house?

Find out what your home value is estimated at today? When you are ready to connect with a great Realtor®, please call 678.920.3099.

Once you have made the decision to sell, here are ways we can help:

Selling Your West Cobb Home

CMA


Market Trends. We research your market and provide you with a thorough CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) report that uses current listing data and recent neighborhood solds of comparable property sales to begin the process of helping you with selling your home.

Neighborhood


Neighborhood Competition. We believe that searching the MLS and previewing currently listed homes that are similar to yours will help us understand your competition. This information will help to determine necessary improvements and pricing strategies to better position you with selling your home.

Curious to see what is for sale in your neighborhood?

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Staging Your Home for sale


Staging Your Home For Sale. Research shows homes for sale that have been staged sell faster and for a higher price than homes that have not been staged. We provide a book on staging for our clients to help them through the process of cleaning, decluttering, and more that can help them with this process. Professional Stagers as well as Professional Organizers can also be found in our vendor directory.

contract negotiations


Contract Negotiations.
Our market analysis and home preparation process helps us to price your home for sale, and that means you will be seeing a buyer with a contract soon. We work with you through the negotiation process to ensure your get the best price possible with the fewest concessions in the sale of your home.

Inspections & Repair Negotiations


Inspections & Repair Negotiations.
Although your home is under contract, negotiations can sometimes continue through the inspections and contingency process. Inspections and document reviews can uncover additional items that may also need to be negotiated. We work with you through this process to help ensure a successful sale.

Closing on your West Cobb home


Closing.
The closing process can be overwhelming with tasks and deadlines in order to have a successful closing. We work with you to make sure that you have a successful closing that enables you to move forward.

West Cobb Real Estate – Things To Consider Before Listing

So you have decided that you are going to sell your home.  Market trends in West Cobb are improving, and homeowners are realizing that this might be a good to sell. While your home may work just as it is for you and your family and you don’t want to invest any more time or money into your property, there are a few necessary steps that every homeowner should take in order to ensure that their home will sell quickly and at the highest price possible.

Have Your Home Professionally Cleaned
This may seem like an unnecessary expense, it can give your home that fresh appearance that really appeals to potential buyers. A professional cleaning service will help get baseboards and vents cleaned, as well as other items that may need a deep cleaning. Some professional cleaning services in West Cobb include:

Make All Necessary Minor Repairs
This is an inexpensive way to give your home a finished look and will convince potential buyers that the home is in good repair.  This includes fixing any damage to walls and ceilings, installing new faucets or lighting fixtures, and making any cosmetic changes to the kitchen and bathrooms that will give your property a modern appearance.

Clear The Clutter
Giving your home an open and clean appearance can definitely make a huge difference in attracting buyers.  Be sure you tidy any messy areas of the home, and depersonalize it by removing most photos and any items or collections that may distract buyers during open houses or while looking at pictures of your home. You may find some hidden treasures that you can sell or items that can be boxed up and ready to move as soon as you sell. Here are some West Cobb professional organizers or home stagers that can help you with this:

Look At Your Home From A Buyer’s Perspective
Because you are used to it, sometimes you may not notice small imperfections or areas of your home that seem not to flow with the rest of the house.  Try to take a walk through your home and on your property with fresh eyes, and be as critical as you would be if you were looking to buy your home again. Even though you may be living there while the home is on the market, the better it looks to potential buyers, the faster you will sell it. It might be a small sacrifice to make the home sale process go faster.

Make Repairs To The Exterior
Don’t forget the front and back yards, as well as the roof and brick or siding of your home, when making repairs to your property.  Your investment is always worth it, and creating curb appeal can really make a difference in attracting buyers.  You also might want to hire a pressure cleaning service to clean your sidewalks and driveway, as well as your windows. Some local pressure cleaning services in West Cobb include:

Consider More Major Renovations If Necessary
If your kitchen or bathroom is very outdated or in bad repair, or you have electrical, plumbing, or mold problems in your home, these are all issues that can really stall the sale of your property.  Fixing these problems will usually not only make your West Cobb home sell more quickly, but may also increase the value of your home far beyond the expense associated with making the repairs in the first place.

Ready to list your home? We can help!

Acworth Market Trends Jan 2015

Just look around Acworth, and you can quickly see the real estate market is improving. Home values in Acworth have increased and new construction is back. Here’s a glimpse at January’s real estate market trends.

Acworth Market Trends

  •  Average sale price in Jan 2015 was $215,454 which was a 29.28% over the Jan 2014 average sale price of
    $166,654.
  • The number of homes sold in January 2015 which was a 35.38% increase over last year, when there were 65 homes sold.
  • Total sold volume in Acworth was up 75.03% from $10,832,487 in Jan 2014 to $18,959,944 in Jan 2015.
  • The amount of time it took to sell a home decreased with average days on market at 110 days in Jan 2015 vs. 119 in Jan 2014, a decrease of 7.56%.

Detailed analysis of Acworth Market Trends for January 2015

Acworth Market Trends

Want to learn what your home is worth?

 

New Construction in Acworth

Want to learn what your home is worth?

 

Selling Your West Cobb Home During The Holidays

The process of selling your West Cobb home at any time of the year can be a stressful experience, but if you are trying to sell your home during the busy holiday season it may seem to be almost impossible. The battle to keep your home in model condition and host open houses while at the same time entertaining friends and family-all the work can seem like a difficult task. So what can you do to make selling your West Cobb home at this time of year less stressful while still keeping your property in salable condition? Here are a few tips to make it easier!

Keep The Decorations To A Minimum

Even if your home is usually the brightest on the block, you will definitely want to tone down the seasonal decorations on both the interior and exterior of your home. You still want to make it easy for potential home buyers to see themselves in your home, and decorations can be a huge distraction from the features of your home, especially if the potential buyers are not of the same religious and cultural background as you. If you do decorate, keep the decorations tasteful and modern. Think of how a model home would be decorated for the season, rather than your own personal taste.

Remember The Basics Of Home Sales

When selling your home, the advice you receive from your REALTOR® includes tips such as keeping your home clean and clutter free, and this should not be forgotten just because of the holidays. Keep personal items such as gifts and homemade crafts out of sight, and be sure to tidy up promptly after parties and events. When hosting an open house, using the sense of smell can always be an effective strategy, and by giving it a holiday twist you can really give the effect of a cozy family home. Bake some holiday cookies and throw on a pot of mulled wine before the potential buyers show up.

Overall, selling your home during the holiday season can present you with considerable challenges, but by trying to balance the needs of both your family and your potential buyers you can make this period as stress free as possible.

Organize Your Kitchen Into Work Stations

When you are selling your home keeping things organized for potential home buyers can be overwhelming. But even as you move in, keeping things organized will help you get things done. So follow these steps to organize your kitchen.

The first step to organizing your kitchen is to develop work stations. Having your kitchen organized in this way results in making your kitchen work for you, not against you. When you can take the fewest steps to get to what you need, all the cooking and cleaning becomes much easier… and even can be enjoyable! Let’s take a look at arranging your kitchen stations for the most convenient way to work.

Food Prep Station

Setting up your food prep station next to the sink is most convenient for clean up. In this area you will want to keep your knives, cutting boards, and colanders for rinsing. What else do you need at a food prep station? Paper towels are handy, as well as bowls to put the prepped food in as you go. You may want to put a ‘scrap bowl’ to hold the peelings, rinds, fruit pits in to take out to the compost bin or other wet garbage.

And, remember, you’ll need a good selection of cutting boards. Choose a variety that you can keep track of for use with poultry, meat, produce, and bread and nuts. You need at least four cutting boards to cover these different foods without cross-contamination.

Cooking Station

This is where you will want to keep your pots, pans, spatulas, big spoons, and hot-pads close for easy access while cooking. If your oven has a storage drawer underneath, use that along with the nearest cupboards. If your choices for storage are very limited, look into buying clever organizers specifically designed for cooking equipment. You’ll find storage that hangs or mounts to the wall or inside the cabinets or on the countertop. Also consider a small rolling cart to house your cooking equipment; one that can be rolled out of the way when you no longer need it.

And don’t forget your favorite seasonings and spices need to be handy while cooking. If you have room in a cupboard near the stove, install a ‘Lazy Susan’ organizer. You’ll find inexpensive plastic styles that fit most cabinets. A small rack can easily be installed on a wall near the stove. Also look at shelves that are meant to hold pictures. You can find narrow shelves, sometimes packaged in sets, that would be perfect to store a selection of seasonings. A neatly organized spice rack or cupboard can save you time and aggravation when cooking.

Baking Station

If you like to bake, a baking station is going to be your best friend. Keep your electric mixer, bowls, rolling pin, parchment paper, measuring cups, and spoons all together in a cupboard near your work station. You’ll want to have your mixing spoons, rubber spatulas, and other baking utensils in a canister on the countertop so you can grab them quick when you need to scrape down the mixing bowl.

Go ahead and move the baking powder, baking soda, flour, and sugar from the pantry to your baking station. If you bake a lot, that’s where you’re going to want them. Of course, you’ll want your pie pans, cake pans, cookie sheets, and cooling racks handy, too. Timers are another necessity when it comes to baking. Set up your baking station by filling it with all the things you keep reaching for when rolling out your homemade apple pie or buttermilk biscuits.

Leftover Station

You’ll need a place where you can wrap it all up. After a meal, you will want to grab storage containers to put away all the leftovers. Whether you use plastic containers, plastic bags, or just put the food on plates and cover with plastic wrap or foil, you will want all those items conveniently located somewhere between the dinner table and the sink.

There are many storage bins you can install inside a cupboard or pantry door to stock boxes of storage bags, plastic wrap, and tin foil so it’s easy to access. If you use plastic containers, you’ll want a shelf or bin nearby. You want to grab a container and spoon in the leftovers right from the table before you set the casserole in the sink to soak. Remember, if you can easily move your leftovers from the table to the refrigerator or freezer, the chances of getting the chore done quickly increases.

Wash Up Station

Use the cabinet above your dishwasher to store items such as dishes and glasses, and use the nearest drawer for silverware. If you find you have extra head-space in your cabinets, use kitchen organizer shelves to utilize this extra space for small juice glasses, coffee mugs, or even tiny dessert bowls and such. By keeping the items you use most often close to the sink or dishwasher, you’ll be more likely to get the dishes washed and put away simply because it’s easier. If you have to cross the kitchen with piles of dishes and glasses to put away, chances are you’ll put that chore off until later.

Of course, you’ll need a variety of cleaners, soaps, scrubs, and sponges and dishcloths. If you store those under the sink, you will need to install locks on the doors. Otherwise, put those cleaning items in a bin and put it up above the sink in a cupboard or in a utility closet nearby. To keep cleanup convenient, put all the items in one plastic bin with a handle, or a bucket, so you can grab it when you’re ready to do cleanup.

Less Used Items Station

There are items that you may not use every day. Those are the things that you can store in a buffet, china cabinet, or other out of the way place. You may have a collection of nice tablecloths, napkins, and other tableware. You may have some dishes that don’t come out often. Perhaps you have appliances and utensils that are used only a few times a year. Keep those stored somewhere other than the kitchen. If you aren’t cooking and serving with it often, move it.

The Odds and Ends Station

Some stations aren’t part of the cooking, exactly, but many families find their life centers around the kitchen in other ways, and a station needs to be set up. You may want a coffee or tea station if that is your ritual in the morning. Many people also use their kitchen to sort mail and keep the family calendar, or a grocery list, or a to do list, or just to keep messages so they know where everyone is going.

Besides the kitchen sink and dish cleaning area, many kitchens house the other cleaning supplies, such as the mop, broom, buckets, scrub brushes, dusting rags, and all the polishes and other sprays we use. Designate one place to hold everything so you’re not running from room to room just to polish a few mirrors or wipe up a floor. Get a few buckets or carry-all type containers to keep items for specific tasks all together and you’ll be able to grab and go clean without going back and forth.

Depending on the size of your kitchen, you may or may not be able to implement all of these ideas. But, take a look at the basic thoughts. By organizing your kitchen into stations, even if they are small stations, you can make your kitchen work for you. And then if you are selling your home, keeping it neat becomes SOP (standard operating procedure)!


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Owning The Home That Just Won’t Sell

We first need to get some common anxiety issues out of the way. There is no curse on your house. Real estate agents and home buyers are not conspiring against you. If you feel like you are stuck owning the house that won’t sell, there has to be an identifiable reason and you should be able to find out what it is. This is particularly true in the current real estate market.

The single biggest and easiest issue to address is the price of the home. Simply put, are you being reasonable when it comes to price? What are the comparable home sale prices in your area and how does your price compare to the sold houses that most resemble the condition of yours? If you are asking for more than similar houses, finding a buyer is going to be difficult. Remember, the issue is the appraised value, not what you subjectively think your home is worth.

One area where people get into trouble is improving beyond their neighborhoods. This occurs when you pursue home improvements that add substantial value to your home, but can’t be supported by the surrounding houses. For example, assume your home and those around it all appraise in the $250,000 to $285,000 range. If you redo kitchens, bathrooms and add a full second story to the tune of $150,00, your probably think your home should be worth roughly $400,000. This is incorrect. Nobody is going to buy a $400,000 home in a $250,000 neighborhood. In such a situation, your best bet is to hold on to the house and pray the neighborhood appreciates over time.

If price isn’t the issue, you need to objectively evaluate how your house is different from those in the neighborhood. Your realtor should be able to offer suggestions. If all else fails, hire an appraiser to come appraise the house and pay very close attention to the report.

Finally, one of the biggest problems I see with houses on the market is a lack of charm. It may sound superficial, but you want a potential buyer to be able to see themselves in the home, consider consulting with a home stager. But keep in mind that buyers are looking for a nice home, not a sterile environment, they want to envision themselves living there. Sometimes rooms look smaller when they are empty. If your home is vacant, a home stager can help you with furnishing some key rooms to enhance your home and make it more welcoming.

You should also work with your real estate agent to determine who your potential buyers are. This will help in marketing your home. Most of all, be realistic in your expectations.

An Organized Bedroom Makes Mornings a Breeze

Seems like when your bedroom is organized, your whole day just starts out better. You may sleep better, you may feel more relaxed, and it may even reduce your stress and anxiety. Another added benefit to keeping your bedroom organized is that you might find you want to spend more alone time with your spouse! Having a room in which to enjoy each other’s company without having things in the way may open the door for more enjoyment. Follow these tips on how to keep your bedroom from becoming a catch all. Your life will thank you for it!

Don’t Let Trash Clutter up Your Space

This sounds so simple and easy, right? But how many of us just throw receipts, clothing tags, and other scraps of paper on the dresser, night stand, or in a chair—thinking we will pick that up later? A good idea is to have a trash can accessible by the bed or in a corner of the room. By just seeing that trash can, you will be more likely to use it. Put the trash in the can immediately. If you allow it to sit somewhere, more than likely it will become a piece of clutter in your bedroom.

Don’t Let Your Clothes Take Over

If the laundry is dirty, place it in the hamper or basket. When the hamper is full, take it to the laundry room and wash the clothes. You may find this helps keep you organized. If the laundry has been done and is clean, hang it up or fold it and put it away immediately. Not only will this help keep your bedroom organized, but it will save you hours of ironing time later.

Make Getting Ready for Work Easier by Keeping an Organized Closet

Clothes all crammed together, shoes piled in a corner, hamper overflowing? That’s not a good way to start your day. A neat and organized closet makes getting up and out of the house a lot faster and less stressful for everyone, and no matter what your current closet set up is, chances are you can make it better with just a few simple changes.

You may find that purchasing a closet organizing system is the best way to tame a chaotic closet. They are readily available at most stores, with many to choose from, and can be used to hang clothes, belts, and accessories. By hanging all these things up and keeping them tidy, your items may last longer, not only saving you space and time, but also money.

Avoid the Temptation to Just “Toss it on the Bed”

You might find it is easy to toss things on the bed when in a hurry. The shirt that you wore once and which needs to be hung up, the sweater that got left in the car, your empty winter purse after you moved all your stuff to your summer bag – it adds up. Do that too many times and that pile will grow to epic proportions. Pretty soon, you will have no room to sleep in your own bed.
Keep your bed clear from clutter. Take 30 seconds to hang up that shirt or put the purse in a drawer. Make your bed the most comfy, relaxing, inviting space in the room. You may find that this truly lets you relax and get a better night’s rest.

By following these bedroom organization tips, your anxiety levels will lessen, your quality of sleep will improve and you may even find that you now have more time to spend creating precious moments with the ones you love.

And if you are selling your home in West Cobb or North Paulding, this will make it so much easier when potential buyers visit. Less stress for you, more inviting home for them.

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