Donna Coakley McGowan's Blog
If your house is currently on the market or you're preparing to put it up for sale, the secret of success lies in the lyrics of an old popular song called "Accentuate The Positive." Although it was originally published in 1944, the song has been resurfacing for years on television, in movies, and music recordings.
"Accentuating the positive and eliminating the negative" may seem like basic, old-fashioned advice, but when homeowners follow it, they increase their chances of selling their home faster and for the highest possible price.
Although your real estate agent will provide a ton of helpful advice on how to present your house in its best light, there are dozens of things you can start doing now to improve its marketability, curb appeal, and the positive response you get from real estate agents and buyers.
- Avoid or minimize any aspect of your home and property that gives the impression of neglect. That could include anything from peeling paint and cracked windows to overgrown bushes and weedy yards. Weeds growing out of cracks in walkways, driveways, and concrete flooring often looks the worst -- but weeds, in general, always detract from the appearance of a home for sale.
- Reduce or eliminate anything that might create a feeling of "unpleasantness" in the minds of prospects. In other words, if there's anything about your home that might cause buyers to cringe, frown, gasp, crinkle their nose (in displeasure) or shake their heads, then you probably need to take corrective action -- and fast! A prime example would be pet odors, stains, and loose fur, which can be major turnoffs for many people -- especially if they have allergies!
- If little or no interior painting has been done over the past five or ten years, there's a strong chance that your walls are faded, marred, and looking worse for the wear. A couple coats of neutral-colored paint can often infuse a more vibrant, updated appearance to those tired-looking rooms. Subtle, light colors -- although, not necessarily stark white -- are often advisable. The objective is to appeal to as many people as possible, without taking any decorating risks that might alienate anyone.
- Speaking of "harsh versus eye-pleasing," your home's lighting is another important thing to scrutinize when looking for cost-effective ways to increase the attractiveness, appeal, and marketability of your home.
17 & 0 School St, Groton, MA 01450
Many of us work long hours all week so that we can afford the luxuries of a nice home. Unfortunately, keeping your home clean and updated requires even more time that you don’t have.
The good news is that there are a growing number of ways to make your home less high maintenance. Things like automation, decluttering techniques, and cleaning hacks have made it easier than ever for us to take care of our homes while still having time to enjoy them.
Tony Stark’s skyrise in Iron Man, the Jetson family’s house, and Nathan’s lab in Ex Machina all have one thing in common: robots that help make our home lives easier. What was once reserved for sci-fi, however, is beginning to be introduced at affordable prices in the real world.
There are many different types of home automation devices available on today’s market. One of the simplest time-saving devices is Amazon’s dash button. You can buy a button for several different household items. You keep the buttons in your cabinet or pantry and when you run out of, say, laundry detergent you can simply press the button and Amazon will automatically order and ship more.
For something more advanced, home assistants are gaining in popularity. Amazon’s Echo, Google’s Home, and others are currently gaining traction. They typically look like a normal small speaker. But with them you can order items online, set alarms and reminders for things like cleaning or car maintenance, control your lights and thermostat, and more.
You’ve probably seen the Roomba before--the small robot that vacuums your house for you by learning the floor layout. If you haven’t, now’s the time to look into them. The market is diversifying and the technology is improving, making them even more helpful to have around the house.
Robots aren’t just for the indoors. You can now purchase a robot that mows your lawn for you. It learns the parameters of your yard, how to avoid obstacles, and soon it’s cutting the grass while you sit back in a lounge chair.
While we’re on the topic of your home’s exterior, let’s discuss some ways to make the outside of your home low maintenance. Gutter guards and leaf filters are a great way to make sure your gutters don’t get clogged, protecting your gutters and in turn your foundation.
When it comes to roofing, there are now several alternatives that will outshine and outlast traditional shingles. Metal roofs are growing in popularity as they now come in several aesthetically appealing forms.
The best cleaning hacks are the ones that save you time and reduce the number of times you have to clean something. For the shower doors in your bathroom, cleaning them with Rain-X glass cleaner (built for car windshields) will keep them clear and shining longer.
Dusting a home takes a lot of time. Most people see dusting as an inevitable weekly task. However, there is a way to reduce the dust that gets kicked up in your home. The amount of dust that builds up on the surfaces of your home is largely due to air conditions. An air purifier and a humidifier can both help to reduce that amount of dust in your home.
It's no fun living in a hot, stuffy house. Every year, you know it's coming. In a few months, temperatures are going to rise. Let temperatures and humidity rise too much and you could rush out to the nearest home goods store and buy an air conditioner. You also might start turning your air conditioner down so low that your utility bills escalate.
Quick actions to lower home cooling costs
Despite how long you've been giving into this trend, it doesn't have to go this way. You can be proactive. By preparing to save on home cooling costs now, you could avoid making emergency decisions that force you to spend hundreds of dollars. Following are quick steps that you could take to start creating a fuel efficient house.
- Install a ceiling fan. Choose a ceiling fan that has a light and you'll get a double benefit.
- Clean air filters for fans and air conditioners.Replace filters as needed.
- Check to see that air conditioning air compressor fans are clean. Remove objects that are blocking the fans from spinning freely.
- Examine and replace coolant lines that show signs of damage.
- Replace insulation throughout your home as needed.
- Buy heavy duty room fans for rooms that you spend the most time in. Adding a heavy duty fan to your bedroom could keep you from turning on the air conditioner at night until it's deep into summer.
- Make sure that air vents are cleaned.
- Cook at night when it's cooler. Cook enough food to store in the refrigerator or freezer for several days.
- Take cool showers instead of soaking in a hot bath.
- Place locked screen shields and alarms on windows that you plan to open during warmer months.
Your utility company may partner with you to lower home cooling costs
Prepare to save on home cooling costs while temperatures are still cool or cold. That gives you at least three weeks to set yourself up to save on home cooling utilities. The extra time is budget friendly. Time to save on home cooling costs also lets you relax and measure how well the energy efficient actions you have taken are working.
Don't rule out working with your utility company to reduce your home cooling costs. Some utility companies include ways to save on home cooling costs in individual utility bill mailings. Your utility company is also good resource to work with should you find it hard to pay all of your cooling expenses on time.
Although utility companies generally don't provide as much financial support during hot months the way they do during winter, reaching out to your utility company could pay off. Set up a payment schedule, if necessary. And ask the representative who you speak with to share even more ways that you could save on home cooling costs. The representative may know why specific cooling services are higher in certain areas where you live and what you can do to cut into these expenses.
This Single-Family in Upton, MA recently sold for $475,550.
This is a Colonial style home and features 9 total rooms, 3 full baths, 1 half bath, 4 bedrooms, 0.96 acres, and was sold by
Donna Coakley McGowan - Millennium Realty