How to Keep Your Dream Home a Dream Home:  Cleaning tips, Updates, Reno Ideas

SPRING CLEANING

It is a great habit to get in the spring cleaning routine.  This once a year, tradition keeps your home fresh, organised and cutter-free.  Springtime is the time to address those household chores that you have been putting off all winter. A thorough spring clean is a great way to get rid of the dust bunnies and get your home ready for the upcoming California summer.

Bathroom

Your bathroom is always in need of a good cleaning, so why not start here?  A proper spring cleaning should go beyond the usual cleaning and scrubbing of the sink, bathtub and toilet.  Here are some spring cleaning suggestions for your bathroom.

When you are cleaning your tile in the shower or bathtub, be sure to use a neutral pH.  The advantages of a neutral cleaner include:

  • It is a gentler solution than either an acidic or alkaline cleaner and will not damage the tile or grout.
  • A neutral pH cleaner is far better for the environment as well as your health.

Apply this cleaner a few times to make sure that you have removed all of the scum and calcium buildup on the bathroom tile.

If there are stained spaces on your tile or in the grout between the tiles, you may need something a little stronger than a neutral pH cleaner.  In this case, try mixing chlorine bleach with water and scrub the area with a stiff brush. Let the solution sit for a few minutes and rinse with water.

While you are cleaning the tile, take the time to clean the glass shower doors as well.  A great tip to keep these doors free of water stains and soap scum is to apply an automotive water repellent such as Rain X to your shower doors.  This application will prevent water and soap from sticking to your glass shower door.

Kitchen

Once you are done cleaning the bathroom, the next logical room to tackle is the kitchen.  Again, go above and beyond the usual cleaning routine to get your kitchen spotless.  A great place to start this process is with your refrigerator.

When you are cleaning out your fridge, take the extra time and clean your fridge’s condenser coils.  These coils are found behind the grill on the bottom of your refrigerator.  Remove the grill and with a vacuum attachment, remove the lint and dust that has built up.

Here’s the Deal:

Clean condenser coils will ensure a longer life for your refrigerator and that it is running at its optimal level.

Floors, Walls and Baseboards

Regardless of the season, your floors take a lot of abuse.  Take the time to give them a little extra TLC this spring.  When you are cleaning, apply a sealer or wax to give them a protective coat.  Use a floor cleaner that cleans and shines to keep them looking polished for the upcoming summer.

You may be surprised, but the dust and lint that you have cleaned from your bathroom and kitchen is also all over your walls and baseboards.  Use a sponge and a gentle dishwashing detergent to wash the walls and baseboards.  Use two buckets and ensure that the water is clean so that you are not just smearing and moving the dust and dirt around.  Dry with a clean cloth or towel.

A proper spring cleaning of your home will have it sparkling and in tip-top shape in no time.  A clean home not only makes your home look more appealing, it also makes it a healthier environment for you and your family.  Another added bonus is if you have been thinking about putting your home on the spring real estate market, a thorough spring cleaning will make your home that much more attractive to any potential buyer.

FALL MAINTENANCE

Fall is an excellent time to list your home.  With the cooler weather and everyone returning from summer holidays, the number of prospective home buyers is quite large.  Before putting your home up for sale, however, there are some fall chores that you will want to attend to.

Rake it Up

A well-manicured lawn is a must if you are looking to attract buyers.  No one wants to look at a home with an unkempt yard.  You may think that all those yellow, orange and brown leaves are quite picturesque on the trees, the same cannot be said for those leaves on your lawn.

Before your next open house or showing, be sure to rake your yard and dispose of the leaves and any other debris.

Clean your Gutters

Unfortunately, leaves do not only accumulate on your lawn.  Fall leaves are notorious for clogging and plugging gutters, downspouts and eves.  Once you have raked your lawn, get a ladder and a bucket to clean out your gutters and downspouts.  The last thing you want is overflowing or flooded eves just before you start showing your home.

Inspect Your Roof

Before you put your ladder away, take the extra time and inspect your roof. Look for any damaged or missing shingles and replace them before showing your home.  Some signs to look for when inspecting your roof include:

  • Any shingle that doesn’t lie flat against the roof. Clear out debris underneath the shingle or replace it if it is curling or is damaged.
  • Shingle granules in the downspouts. This indicates that the shingles on your roof are nearing the end of their lifespan.

 

Here’s the Deal:

A roof in need of repair can be a deal breaker or a key negotiating piece that will surely affect the final selling price.

Put Away Summer

When you are showing your home in the fall season, do not have a bunch of summer décor or patio furniture showing.  Try to match your décor to the season and unfortunately it is no longer summer.  Store all summer paraphernalia and get your home ready for a fall sale.

Fall is the perfect time to list your home and by following this fall maintenance checklist, you will be able to turn that for sale sign into a sold one in no time flat.

If you are interested in listing your home or would like more information on how to get your home prepped and ready for the Brea real estate market, please contact me today.  I would love to be a part of your sales team and look forward to hearing from you soon.

FABULOUS FLOWERBED

Regardless of whether you are buying or selling a home, a well-manicured flowerbed adds color and class to your home.  Planting and taking care of a flowerbed can also be a great family activity and get the kids outside, active and engaged.  As the premier realtor for your Brea real estate needs, I would like to share the following tips on how you can prepare a fabulous flowerbed.

Clean your Bed

Before planting your first flower, it is important that you start with a clean, weed free yard by removing any debris, rocks and weeds.  Once you have thoroughly cleaned your flowerbed, add some new soil and mix it in with the existing soil.  Ensure that the soil is not compact but rather loose to allow your flower’s root systems to take hold.

Get a Head Start

There are two ways that you can grow your flowers.  You can either head to your local greenhouse or nursery to buy pre-bedded plants or you can start them from seed and transfer them to your garden when they are ready.  If you choose to start them from seed, grow them in a sunny area and then transplant them once they have developed sturdy stems.

Perfect Space

When it comes to planting the flowers, make sure to properly space them.  Try to follow the guidelines on the seed package or the plant tag to prevent overcrowding and allowing your flowers room to grow.

When planting your flowers, be sure to plant the crown (where the flowers root system meets the soil) flush with the bedding soil.  If you plant your flower too deep in the bed, soil will settle around the stem and rot the flower.  If you plant your flowers too high, they will never properly root and dry out and die.

Weed and Water

No matter what type of flower you are choosing to plant, it is important to properly water them the moment they are in your flowerbed.  Transplanting is hard on a flower and you will want to ensure that your flowerbed is as healthy as possible.  Once it is thoroughly watered, make sure to establish a watering routine and water anytime the soil is dry.

You will also want to keep your flowerbed weed free.  Weeds will quickly choke out your flowers and you will be left with an unsightly plot full of a thriving weed community.  Remove any unwanted weeds immediately before they can spread or choke out your flowers.  A great way to prevent weeds and help your flowerbed retain moisture is a thin layer of mulch.  For best results, use sparingly and try to keep it away from direct contact with your flowers.

These simple tips will help you enjoy healthy and colorful flowerbeds this spring.  If you have other questions about how to prepare your gorgeous garden or are interested in some of the many new and exciting real estate options available in Brea, please contact me today.

SET YOUR REMODELING BUDGET

A home renovation is a sure way to not only increase the value of your home, but also to add intrigue and interest as a newly renovated home enters into the Brea real estate market.  Choosing the room or rooms you want to remodel is the easy part, setting and sticking to your renovation budget can be rather tricky.

Estimate by Percentage

Here’s the Deal:

When it comes to setting a renovation budget, one of the easiest ways to come up with a dollar value is to base the estimated cost on a percentage of your overall home.

For example:

Your home’s kitchen usually accounts for 10 to 15 percent of your home’s total value.  If your home is worth $100 000 you will want to spend no more than $15 000 on your kitchen’s renovation.

If you are choosing a renovation strictly to increase the resale value of your home, a kitchen renovation may not be your best choice.  In general, a remodeled kitchen only returns 50 cents on every dollar spent.  The highest rate of return on a home renovation is usually a mid-range bathroom remodel.

Renovation Loan Options

Once you have arrived at a rough estimate of what your home renovation will cost, the next step is to secure the money that will cover the remodeling costs.  There are many different options that are available and include:

  • Refinancing – Depending on your current interest rate you may want to refinance your mortgage at a lower rate or a longer term. The money you will save on your monthly payments can be used to pay for your renovation.
  • Line of Credit – Talk to your local bank or lender and see what interest rate they are charging for a line of credit. If it is less than what you can get on your mortgage, this may be a great way to cover the renovation costs.
  • Home equity loan – Sometimes known as a second mortgage. A home equity loan allows you to borrow a percentage of your home’s value which you could use for your renovations.

Regardless of what type of loan you choose, make sure to add another 10 to 15 percent on to your original renovation estimate.  This will help cover unforeseen expenses or cost overruns.

Get Quotes

Once you have secured a loan, talk to a host of contractors and get a quote from each.  Make sure that your quote includes all materials that are to be used, a time frame and a step by step detailed account of the overall project.  Don’t be afraid to ask for references from past jobs as well as the type of insurance they have.

Stick to the Plan

The fastest way to go over budget is by adding on smaller jobs, side jobs or changing your mind half way through a renovation.  Stick to the original plan if at all possible to ensure that your renovation is on budget and on time.

A newly renovated room is a great way to add new life to your home.  A renovated home not only adds value but can also bring about prospective buyers if you are thinking about selling.  If you would like more information about setting a renovation budget or how to take advantage of Brea’s hot real estate market, please give me a call today.

CUT YOUR REMODELING BUDGET

Finding your perfect home can be tricky, especially if you have to stay within a limited budget.  However, with just a little remodeling and renovating, you may be able to get your dream home within your original budget.  Yes, you can have your cake and eat it too.  As the premier Brea realtor, I would like to share these 3 ways to help you save on your remodeling budget.

Leave the Sink, Tub and Toilet

Usually, the first renovation that many first time home buyers want is a full scale bathroom remodel.  This vision usually includes a whole new floor plan complete with new plumbing.  This vision can not only add costs to your renovation, it can also bring unforeseen problems down the road.  To save time, money, and problems, think about a bathroom renovation, but leave the plumbing where it is.  Add a new mirror, new shelving or even a new tub or sink, just don’t reconfigure the existing plumbing.

Work with What you Have

Before gutting an entire room, try to work with what you already have.  Sometimes, a costly renovation can be spared with just a little bit of vision and some foresight.  Great ways to save money, yet still get a whole new look in any room, include:

  • Repaint the room. Hire an interior designer to help pick some colors that may complement the room.  You may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
  • Change up the lighting. Replace or add to the already existing lighting in the room.  This can create ambiance and a degree of sophistication as well as make a room seem larger.
  • Consider adding accessories such as a rug. This may break up the room and give it a whole new look.
  • Refinish kitchen cabinets.
  • Repaint or re-gloss door frames and bedroom and other household doors.

Use Expensive Materials Sparingly

A great way to keep your renovation costs down is to use any expensive materials sparingly.  Use more affordable options where possible use more expensive materials in areas that will be main focal points.  Avoid name brand materials if possible and make sure to purchase hardware such as drawers or cabinets and cupboards that are durable as they will be opened and closed thousands of times over their lifetime.

Here’s the deal:

Splurge on the high-end tiled kitchen backsplash and save by finding an aesthetically pleasing kitchen counter-top that isn’t granite or marble.

Each of these tips can help you save money on your household renovations and allow you to stay within your original budget.  If you would like any more information or tips on how you can cut renovation or remodeling costs or are interested in some of the new and exciting real estate options that are available in Brea, please contact me today.  I look forward to working with you soon.

BUDGET FRIENDLY EXTERIOR UPGRADES

Believe it or not, the exterior of your home is just as important as the interior when it comes to attracting potential buyers.  In many cases, it is often the exterior of a home that leaves a first and lasting impression on any home buyer.  If you have been thinking about putting your Brea home up for sale and taking advantage of the hot summer market, here are some budget friendly exterior improvements that are guaranteed to attract attention and turn heads.

Clean Up

The most cost-efficient way to improve your home’s exterior is to dedicate a day to cleaning up your yard and give your home an extra bit of TLC.  Some of the chores that will improve the exterior of your home include:

  • Mow your lawn, trim bushes and prune all trees.
  • Clean your driveway, sidewalks, and walkways around your home as well as the exterior of your home with a power washer.
  • Wash all exterior windows with a solution of diluted detergent and water. Wipe clean with a squeegee.

Remember:

While you are washing the exterior of your home, pay attention to any missing caulking around windows or areas that may need new weather stripping.  A well looked after home is a sought-after home.

Give it a Paint Job

A quick and fairly inexpensive way to grab the eye of any potential buyer is to give your house a fresh coat of paint.  A newly painted home not only shows a buyer that you take care of your home, but it also allows a buyer to cross that job off their to do list.  A new coat of paint goes a long way in the real estate world.

If you do not want to repaint your entire house, then focus your attention on your home’s accent areas.  These include the trim around windows and doors, the door itself or shutters.  Before painting, it is a good idea to look at a few different colour schemes to find one that compliments the exterior of your home.

Doors and Shutters

One way to add another layer to any of your exterior windows is to add shutters.  Shutters will instantly make your windows look larger and are a great way to break up an otherwise bland exterior wall.  Make sure to choose a colour that strikes contrast with the colour of your home to really grab attention.

If you decide to paint your home or accent areas, consider adding a coat of paint to your front door.  For a bold statement, try colours such as turquoise, yellow or a bright red.  If you are looking for more of a sophisticated and conservative look, go with the standard white, grey or black.

Other Budget Friendly Ideas

Other quick and inexpensive ideas that will improve the exterior of your home include:

  • Add flower boxes and hanging baskets to greet buyers at your front door.
  • Replace your house numbers with flashy stainless steel or sleek black.
  • Upgrade your patio furniture to show any potential buyer your patio space’s true potential.

The exterior of your home is an important part of any real estate marketing portfolio.  It is the first thing that a buyer sees and can quite often be the deciding factor of any sale.

If you would like more information on budget friendly ways to transform the exterior of your home. Spring cleaning idea, fall maintenance tips, renovation ideas or would like to list your home on Brea’s hot summer real estate market, contact me today.

 

 

 

 

 

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