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DJ Campbell

DJ Campbell

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Hot home trends

(Published on - 6/19/2019 3:09:17 AM)

When selling your home, it is incredibly important to consider who you are selling to and what they are looking for. Fixr, an online remodeling cost guide and comparison website, recently surveyed influencers in the industry to discover who’s in the market to buy and what home features are most attractive to them. Here’s what they found!

Open Floor Plans: Those surveyed believe that Generation X and Millennials will make up a large majority of buyers this year. They will look for an open floor concept, allowing them to maximize on space, choose from a variety of furniture layouts and decoration, and more easily entertain guests.

Smart Home Features: New technologies for automating your home are popping up every single day. From sprinklers to lights to door locks, smart devices are of great interest to home buyers.

Solar Energy: Finding ways to lower monthly bills is a big goal for many home buyers. A home equipped with solar panels not only achieves this but allows home buyers to introduce renewable energy into their home.

Voice Control Features: In line with the desire for home automation, those surveyed believe that the addition of voice-controlled devices in the home are a huge selling point. Although investing in improvements and additions that follow these trends may have upfront costs, the payoff will be worth it.

 


Five negotiating tactics that can kill a sale

(Published on - 5/6/2019 8:33:45 PM)

Negotiation is a subtle art in real estate, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly. Here are some negotiation tactics buyers (and real estate professionals) should avoid:

  1. Lowball offers: Going far below market value when you make an offer damages your credibility as a buyer and can be insulting to the seller. The seller has a range in mind that they’ll accept, and if you’re not even approaching the low end of that range, they won’t even consider the offer.
  2. Incremental negotiations: Don’t continue to go back to the seller with small increases in your offer ($1,000 or less). The constant back-and-forth can grow tiresome and lead the seller to consider other opportunities.
  3. “Take it or leave it”: Try not to draw a line in the sand with your initial offer. The seller can get defensive and consider other offers if you immediately show that you’re unwilling to budge. Even if it’s true, don’t make a show of it.
  4. Nitpicking after an inspection: Obviously if an inspection reveals a major issue, it should be factored into the final sale price. But insisting on a lower price for every minor repair can put negotiations in a stalemate.
  5. Asking for more, more, more: Some buyers will request that the sellers throw in add-ons like furniture or appliances that weren’t included in the listing. Try to avoid giving the seller a reason to build up resentment and think that you’re being greedy.

 


Dealing with scratched hardwood floors

(Published on - 4/23/2019 2:27:06 PM)

Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners, but they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.

Hiding scratches: If you’ve got a good eye for matching colors, you can actually use crayons or markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Try to match the stain color on your floors, but don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.

Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.

Clever decor: It’s not a long-term solution, but sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement.

Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain and seal the repaired area.

 


Create a more energy efficient home without breaking the bank

(Published on - 3/7/2019 4:54:34 PM)

Many homeowners would love to invest in making their property more energy-efficient. Going green can save you a lot of money over time and is great for the environment, but the up-front costs can be significant. Fortunately, there are some energy-efficient changes you can make to your home without draining too much of your bank account.

Seal air leaks: As much as 20 percent of the energy used to regulate temperature in a home can be lost to air leaks. You can seal doors and windows with weather stripping and the project will usually cost less than $200.

Smart thermostats: Older thermostats are usually inefficient because they only have a few settings. A smart thermostat like Nest can be programmed to reduce heating/cooling when you’re not at home or during the hours when you’re asleep. The energy savings you will see usually equal the cost of the thermostat after a year or two.

Change your light bulbs: LED light bulbs are expensive, but require just a small percentage of the energy incandescent bulbs require. A cheap incandescent bulb uses about $15 of electricity a year (if it lasts that long). An LED bulb costs $25, but uses less than $5 worth of electricity per year and will last up to 11 years.

 


How to check your home for air leaks

(Published on - 2/4/2019 10:14:49 PM)

We’re well into the winter season and it is here to stay. Air leaks can make it difficult to keep your home properly heated and can lead to high utility bills. Here’s a quick guide to checking your home for air leaks.

Do an Air Pressure Test. You can quickly check for air leaks with a simple test using household items. Seal your home by completely closing all doors, windows, and vents and turning off exhaust fans. Then pass a burning incense stick along the edges of all doors, windows, and other openings to the outside. If the smoke is forced into or away from an opening, you’ve found a leak.

Inspect Doors and Windows. To check for leaks near your windows, attempt to rattle the frame. This will reveal whether there are gaps along the edges. Also check for cracks in the frame, loose screws in locks, or gaps anywhere in the window.

Door hinges and thresholds are common places for air leaks. Deteriorated weather stripping can also lead to leaks and the door itself can develop cracks that allow air to pass through.

Skylights are a little trickier to test and examine, but you can still do it yourself. Check for water stains near your skylights, which is a dead giveaway of a leak. If you suspect there is one, you’ll have to get on the roof for a closer inspection. Look for loose shingles, cracked roofing cement, and debris.

 


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