How to: Avoid Devaluing your Home

After purchasing a house, you want to customize it to feel like a home, but if you’re not planning on staying in your home long-term, beware of these things that can lower the price when it comes time to sell:

  • Removing a bedroom – The number of bedrooms directly affects a house’s value. If you opt to turn a bedroom into a different space, make sure it still meets the area’s building codes for a bedroom. This ensures that when you sell, you can still list it as a bedroom. When showing potential buyers the house, it can be helpful to redecorate the room as a bedroom so they can easily visualize the space.
  • Poorly done renovation – While it’s great to DIY some projects, it’s important that you know what you’re doing – especially with big or more visible projects. If you are not sure that you can do the job properly, hire a professional. If not, potential buyers will see things they need to fix or re-do completely.
  • Outdated bathrooms – Potential buyers may see an outdated bathroom as a project they’ll need to take on at an additional cost. Even small updates to your bathroom, like new fixtures or lighting, can help update the look of the bathroom.
  • Smoking inside – The smell of smoke is very hard to get out of a home, especially if you have carpeting. If you’ve already smoked indoors, a good carpet cleaning may help.
  • Overly personal renovation and decoration choices – You may love the dramatic red wall in your dining room or the textured wallpaper in your bathroom, but buyers may have a hard time imagining living in the space as it is. Consider repainting to a more neutral color before listing your home.
  • Water features – A pool, hot tub, pond or other water feature can lower the value of your home. Most people will see these items as high maintenance or as a safety hazard. Keep in mind, the same doesn’t necessarily hold true for an in-ground pool, especially if you live in a place with a long summer season.
  • Neglecting maintenance – Routine maintenance is important for the upkeep of your home, both aesthetically and structurally. People will be able to tell if your home needs a lot of basic maintenance work done.
  • Not considering curb appeal – Make sure the exterior of your home is well maintained and there aren’t any eyesores. Be on the lookout for chipped or peeling paint, crumbling or cracked driveways and sidewalks, and old or dirty windows.

Have you bought or sold a home recently? Do you have any additional advice to add?


Decorating for Fall

Fall is here, so now is the perfect time to decorate your home for the season! Use these tips and ideas for some inspiration:

  • Swap out lightweight summer fabrics for soft fabrics, such as velvet, fleece or flannel in rich fall colors.
  • Add throws and blankets to bedrooms and living rooms to add a cozy feel.
  • Decorate with fall colors like purples, reds, yellows, oranges, golds, coppers and chocolate browns.
  • Use items from nature to decorate around the house. Some ideas:
    • Leaves
    • Branches
    • Pumpkins
    • Gourds
    • Corn
    • Pinecones
    • Fresh cut flowers
  • Add a wreath to the front door and change up the wreath throughout the season for a festive look – Think Halloween and Thanksgiving themed wreaths!
  • If you don’t have a fireplace, a variety of candles can replicate the warm feel a fireplace creates.
  • Add lamps and other floor or table lighting to help combat the shorter, darker days that come with fall and winter.

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Tricks to Brighten Up a Dark Room

Most of us have at least one room in our house that is dark or drab – either because it has a lack of natural light or because of decorating/architectural choices. Without making any major changes, use these tricks to help brighten up any room:

  • Paint – Paint your walls or ceiling white or another light color to reflect more light
  • Mirrors – Place mirrors on the walls in the room to reflect light around the room.
  • Clear Clutter – More stuff will make your room feel cramped and dark, so get rid of objects you don’t need.
  • Limit Colors – Incorporate accent colors in small doses, but too much bright or bold color can make a space feel darker.
  • Window Coverings – Swap out heavy curtains and blinds with window coverings that let in light. Linen or canvas curtains add privacy while still letting in light. Cloth or bamboo blinds instead of wood or heavy plastic will have the same effect.
  • Lighting – Use perimeter lighting as opposed to direct overhead lighting, it can make lighting appear more natural, and use CLF light bulbs – they have a higher intensity, but with a lower wattage. Candles can also be used to add soft lighting to a room.
  • Furniture – Heavy furniture can make your room feel dark, lighten it up by painting or staining furniture a lighter color. On fabric furniture, use slipcovers or reupholster furniture in lighter and brighter colors.

What tips or tricks do you have for making a dark room feel brighter? Let us know in the comments!