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The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects to DIY

20

Jan 2021

The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects to DIY

The Best and Worst Home Improvement Projects to DIY By Yianni Demetrios Source Chip and Joanna Gaines make home improvement projects look so easy, but in reality, DIY projects are a lot harder than people realize.  For starters, you won’t finish a major kitchen renovation in a weekend like you see on HGTV. Even the simplest project can go wrong. Many of us are social distancing at home these days and are eager to roll up our sleeves and tackle a new project to keep busy, but some DIY projects should be clearly marked DDIY -- Don’t Do It Yourself. While DIY might save you a few bucks, it’s not always worth the risk. Here is a list of DIY projects you can safely attempt on your own and DDIY projects that you should leave to the experts. The Best Home Improvement Projects to DIY Safe at home doesn’t mean being cooped up indoors. Utilize your time and energy to transform your home into an oasis where you can safely relax and unwind. Transform the backyard Photo credit: with permission: The Dwight Price Group Spruce up the space by adding colorful furniture, pillows, and twinkling lights. Don’t stop there -- add greenery and a lot of it. Virginia bluebells, butterfly milkweed and other native Tennessee plants are a lovely addition to patios and yards. You also can build garden beds to grow delicious vegetables. An outdoor makeover can net you a healthy 83% return on your investment. Paint or stain A fresh coat of paint can drastically improve your house’s curb appeal. You don’t have to paint the entire house, just the trim, and shutters. Painting the front door can net you 100% return on your investment.   Painting the inside walls also improves your home’s value and protects the walls against wear and tear. A fresh coat of stain on the baseboard and outside deck can make your home feel like new again.   Keep in mind: In addition to the cost of the paint, you will have to figure in the cost of supplies, such as brushes, rollers, paint remover, ladders, and caulk.   You also need to factor in time for the prep work. Old, peeling paint must be scraped off, and windows may need caulking and sealing before you can start. DIY movie theater   A home theater is no longer a luxury for just the rich and famous. It’s quite easy and affordable to transform a room in your home into a theater where you can comfortably watch flicks on the big screen.   This home movie theater is an example for which a few YouTube videos will provide all the instruction you need to wire sound, add dimmer lights, and a projector for a realistic experience. Adding some comfy recliner chairs and couches will complete your home theater.   Another idea for a home movie theater? Build it outdoors. It’s simple and cheap. All you need is a projection screen, a projector and some lumber. Those items are affordable, and you can handle this project in a day. And for those chilly movie nights, install a fire pit to keep warm and cozy while munching on popcorn. An outdoor firepit ranks among the top 10 outdoor features that appeal to prospective buyers. The Worst Home Improvement Projects to DIY Source   Some jobs are either too time-consuming, expensive, or dangerous to undertake. Here are some projects where one DIY mistake can cost you thousands of dollars. DIY plumbing projects While you might be able to fix a leaky toilet or snake a clogged drain, it’s best to leave major plumbing projects to the professionals. Sure, you’ve watched a lot of HGTV and YouTube videos and you’re feeling pretty crafty. It may seem like installing a new kitchen sink or adding a toilet in the basement will be a breeze. Not so fast. Don’t do it yourself. Pipes could burst and cause major flooding in your home. Electrocution is also a possibility. Save yourself the headache by hiring an expert from the beginning. Electrical DIY projects The same rules apply when it comes to electrical work. It’s safer to leave it to a licensed professional. Even if you feel like you most certainly can remove an outlet or replace an electrical panel, the risks of electrocution and electrical fires are too great. Leave these difficult tasks to people who know exactly what they are doing. Call the experts to replace or fix the roof Are you tempted to get out the ladder and tack up a few shingles to replace the ones that blew off during the last wind storm? This is another DIY project that’s best left to leave to the professionals. Experts say fixing roof shingles yourself could cause major interior damage to the home including leaks into the attic and water draining behind the siding instead of into the gutter. There’s also the possibility of falling and injuring yourself. Kitchen remodels Tearing up and installing new cabinets and appliances isn’t as easy as it looks on Fixer Upper. There’s a lot of work involved when it comes to remodeling a kitchen. But if you’re planning to sell your home, a kitchen remodel will boost the value of your home — which means it’s best to hire a kitchen designer or professional contractor to do the heavy lifting. This is a job that you definitely want done right. DDIY -- Don’t Do It Yourself. Penny Wise and Pound Foolish DIY projects are a great way to save money and improve your home, but tackling some projects could have you paying more to repair the mistakes. Figure out the simple things you can do to spruce up your home and leave the bigger projects to the experts. Most times it is worth the extra cash to call in the pros. Yianni Demetrios grew up in a home built from Sears-Roebuck house plans and found his calling as a do-it-yourselfer. After mastering fence posts and patio tiles, he is working his way up to building his own house from a kit.

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Outdoor Improvements That Boost Your Home’s Curb…

3

Dec 2020

Outdoor Improvements That Boost Your Home’s Curb…

Outdoor Improvements That Boost Your Home\'s Curb Appeal By Desiree Miller One look at Graceland or the Hermitage, and you can’t wait to go inside. But you don’t need to own a mansion to entice people in for a tour. You just need curb appeal - especially if you want to put your property on the rental or sales market. Improving the outside of the house lets would-be renters or buyers know there’s something worth looking at on the inside. Make a checklist and get to work. 5 Ways to Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal 1. Spruce up your lawn and garden The yard is the first thing anyone sees when approaching the house. An unkempt lawn is a sign of neglect -- and gives people the impression the inside needs work. Spruce up your yard by mowing, weeding, edging, fertilizing, and watering the grass each week. Try mowing the lawn in a different direction each time. This will make the grass stand taller. A tired-looking landscape is a turn-off for buyers. Before putting your house on the market, trim back overgrown hedges, shrubs, and tree branches. Plant some low maintenance flowers such as wild geraniums and Virginia bluebells in your flower bed. These native plants will draw birds and butterflies. Even better? Since they’re acclimated to the Tennessee climate, they require little watering or care. 2. Add some homey touches A birdbath, feeder, and ornamental rocks will add character to the property. Show your Tennessee pride by displaying a few Titans or Grizzlies ornaments. Flowerpots, urns, canisters, and hanging baskets make the front door more welcoming to visitors. Homes with front porches cry out for a rocking chair or swing -- items that show off a comfortable look for outdoor living. A simple welcome mat lets people know that your home is a showpiece. But don’t go overboard. You don’t want your yard and garden looking like a flea market. 3. Paint “Buy” Numbers Large, modern address numbers don’t cost much, but they do draw attention to the house. Buy new numbers at your favorite home improvement store. While you’re there, pick up a few gallons of paint and stain. Painting and staining old woodwork on shutters, railings, window boxes, and fences is an easy weekend chore. Spruce up your home’s curb appeal by painting a dented, chipped mailbox or purchase and install a new one. Shine old doorknobs, window pulls, door knockers, handles, and flag pole holders. A splash of color on the front door is eye-catching -- painting the door black could increase the home\'s selling price. 4. Shine a light on your home’s exterior Lighting up the perimeter of your house gives it a welcoming glow. Energy-efficient outdoor lighting uses less electricity and reduces utility bills. Modern fixtures are attractive, but if replacing the old ones isn’t an option, clean and polish them to remove rust and dust. Solar light sticks draw energy from the sun -- they’re an inexpensive way to brighten shrubbery and flower beds. 5. Power wash your driveway and garage The grimiest areas on the outside of a house are the driveway and garage. Mud, dirt, oil, and stains build up over the years. Cleaning the cement and asphalt with a hose isn’t all that effective, but you can buy or rent a power washer to spray areas more forcefully. Special formulated detergents and degreasers are available. Final Touches The to-do list can seem daunting when getting your home ready for the sales market, but it all starts with the right plan. Your real estate agent can tell you what repairs and upgrades you should tackle first. Remember, you\'re not just selling a house … you’re promoting the dream of comfortable and satisfying hometown living. Desiree Miller staged her first house at age 6. By all accounts, Barbie and Ken loved her work. Miller still stages homes today, and she writes about real estate topics.  

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Maybe I Should Just Rent My House

10

Nov 2020

Maybe I Should Just Rent My House

“My house has been on the market for over a year now, and it seems that it’s never going to sell!”  This is a statement that’s often heard from home sellers in the 2012 real estate economy.  In the past, agents would suggest price reductions, open houses, more advertising, or simply waiting for the right buyer to come along.  All of these are options, but one important option may not be getting presented as often as it should.  Why not lease the house until the market improves!? Homeowners are often reluctant to offer their home for lease, even when they have moved out and the house has sat empty for months.  Today’s leasing market is better than ever with people looking for good lease opportunities.  Why are leases so popular?  Many potential home buyers cannot get mortgages as easily as before.  Some have credit issues preventing them from getting mortgages that they could easily have gotten 5 years ago.  Some buyers have experienced bankruptcy or foreclosure and they must wait a period of time before purchasing another home.  Many times a buyer just needs a few months to finish their loan approval and purchase. However, these tenants sometimes make the BEST rental clients.  They are trying to rebuild their credit and the last thing they want to do is get behind on rent, possibly making it nearly impossible that they can ever purchase another home. Some homeowners are worried that the house won’t be cared for like it should.  “What is the tenant destroys thing and it costs me thousands to get the house back in marketable shape after the lease term expires?”  These questions can most efficiently be addressed by a competent and reputable property management organization.  “What else should we worry about when considering a tenant to help cover the mortgage payments instead of leaving our house empty?” Some real estate companies offer full property management services.  This is the most recommended way to offer your house for lease.  When you hire a property management company, you should expect the following services to be traditional and routine in the handling of your home lease: Credit and Background Checks should be done on EVERY applicant.  No matter the income level, age, circumstances share in conversation, a credit and background check report is essential in evaluating the potential tenant.  Of course, this information is not made public and copies cannot be distributed to the parties involved, but it helps the property manager make a recommendation to the homeowner about the worthiness of this party to lease. Income documents and bank statements are essential for the tenant to provide to the property manager. Often a tenant thinks they can afford a lease amount that their budget simply will not allow.  The property manager will confirm that with other payments (car payments, student loan payments, credit card payments, etc.) that the tenant can actually afford his/her rent on time. An Initial inspection of the property for lease is conducted by the property manager and full photo documentation is saved to show the move-in condition of the home. This is a very important step to ensure that everyone sees and acknowledges the condition of the property prior to it being leased.  This set of photos and notes will be used to evaluate the property when the tenant moves out as well. Proof of utilities and insurance are required from each tenant prior to occupancy. Tenants are responsible for having all utility services in their names so that the homeowner is not responsible for these services during the lease term.  Property management firms representing the homeowner like to make sure that the tenant sees the need to have renters insurance to protect their belongings and to provide liability coverage during the lease term.  These documents are gathered for the file and retained by the property manager. Security deposits are crucial in any rental situation. The normal security deposit is at least the amount of one month’s rental fee.  This deposit is retained by the property management company in a protected escrow account.  The deposit is used at the end of the lease for such things as damages to the property and for lack of payment or shortages of rent payments.  Extra fees can be charged on the front end if the tenants have pets, and if pets are even allowed by the homeowner. Periodic walk-through inspections of each rental property are conducted by the property manager. The purpose of these inspections is multifold.  This gives the management company the opportunity to see if the tenants are following the guidelines of the lease (number of people living in the property, not smoking in the property, proper care and maintenance of the home, replacing HVAC filters, etc.).  Any violations noted at the inspection are addressed immediately so that no deterioration of the property ensues.  Inspections can be scheduled at any time with a 24-hour notice.  Emergency entry of the property can be done at any time in the event of fire, flood, burglary, etc. Collection of rent and other fees becomes the duty of the management company. The homeowner does not have any involvement in making sure that the tenant pays on time.  Late fees are collected for late payments, and fees are collected for bad checks.  Once a tenant happens to pay with a bad check, they lose their check writing privileges with most management companies and are forced to pay by cash, cashier’s check or money order in the future.  Once good funds are secured, the homeowner’s check is issued by the management company. Repairs are often a nightmare for a homeowner who is renting a property. An experienced management company has a great list of vendors who work on everything from electrical to plumbing to other handyman types of repairs.  When a tenant has an issue that is part of the normal wear and tear of a home, the property manager handles facilitating the repair work and simply deducts the cost from the next month’s rent.  Any repairs that are excessive in cost must be approved by the homeowner in advance. Lease expirations are handled with care when the property manager inspects the empty property to make sure that it is in the same good shape (normal wear and tear expected) as when the tenants took occupancy. Within 10 days after the exit of the tenants, the security deposit must be disbursed either for damages to the homeowner or to the tenant.  If damages exceed the amount of the security deposit, the property management company will assist the homeowner in working with a local attorney to sue for additional damages. All advertising and marketing of the property for lease is handled by the property management firm or real estate company. This hopefully makes for a smooth transition between tenants so that the home doesn’t sit empty for long periods of time without being leased until such time as the house is ready to go back on the sales market with the Realtor of choice.   Leasing may not be the solution for every homeowner, but it’s certainly a viable choice for many people.  Having a home sit empty is never a good thing for the home itself.  A home fares much better with the utilities being used and someone living in the home.  Insurance rates are almost always much lower with occupied homes than vacant homes.  If a tenant can ease the burden of monthly payments for the homeowner until such time as the home sells in the future, it can be a win-win situation for all parties involved. Dwight Price has bought and sold real estate in the area since 1980.  He is committed to keeping abreast of new technologies and trends in the market and has earned the G.R.I. designation (Graduate of the Realtor Institute), the C.R.S. (Certified Residential Specialist), and the C.R.B. (Certified Residential Broker).

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Why inbound marketing matters today

31

Jan 2020

Why inbound marketing matters today

While most companies understand that traditional marketing strategies no longer are effective in today\'s market, few marketing teams really grasp the importance of inbound marketing. Due to how society consumes media of all forms, inbound marketing can launch your company to the forefront of advertising and convert leads into sales. However, this is nearly impossible with traditional marketing methods; the return on investment for traditional advertising sinks every year. To keep up with today\'s market, companies must invest in valid inbound marketing strategies. Why? Inbound marketing appeals to and works with the way we consume media in this day and age. According to HubSpot, this form of marketing focuses on attracting customers through relevant media while not interrupting their browsing experience. With the invention of ad blockers, internet users today have little patience for anything that interrupts them; an ill-placed advertisement is more likely to turn people away from your company than make them look into it. search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click marketing, relevant landing pages, content creation, and email marketing. Why Outsourcing Inbound Marketing Equals Smart Investing When considering inbound marketing, content is king. Forbes states \"inbound marketing is only as strong as the content you\'re creating and its relevance to your target audience \"  highlighting the fact that bad inbound marketing is just as devastating as good traditional marketing. Both are ineffective in today\'s world. search engine optimization, social media, pay-per-click marketing, relevant landing pages, content creation, and email marketing. Brands are learning the value of cultivating relationships with their consumers. For example, many people are die-hard Apple or Samsung fans when it comes to their smartphones, largely due to the brand loyalty those two companies built early on. A successful inbound marketing campaign can build a strong brand-consumer relationship, as evidenced by HubSpot\'s 9th Annual Report on the Future of Inbound Marketing and Sales . Of all the marketing techniques used today, inbound marketing that focuses on quality content and correctly targets different demographics with the appropriate methodology results in increased sales and shows a greater return on investment.

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How to choose the best RE agent?

30

Aug 2019

How to choose the best RE agent?

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