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CHILD & PET-PROOFING YOUR HOME

You’ve just finished spring cleaning, and summer is approaching quickly. Summer means longer days and later nights, and usually more traffic in your home. With play dates, game nights, and bonfires, there are likely to be more guests in and out of your home than usual. While fun is the priority, safety should be as well. To keep the little ones, children and pets included, safe in your home, follow these steps so you can enjoy a safe summer (as well as all the other seasons):

1. Protect your belongings

This has two benefits. If you have items that are important to you and could easily break, it is best to store them away so they don’t get damaged and no one gets hurt from the broken item in the process.

 

2. Make off-limit areas

If you want to prevent children and pets from going places you don’t want them, consider installing safety gates. Placing gates in front of staircases and rooms with more breakable items can prevent both children and pets from falling or accessing those items you don’t want to injure crawling little ones.

3. Secure furniture

Sometimes when we get new furniture, we don’t think those extra safety screws included to attach the furniture to the wall are necessary. Sadly, accidents involving falling furniture occur much too often because safety anchors are not installed. If you have any furniture that could be pulled down by a child, pick up anchors at your local hardware store. Dressers, televisions, and bookshelves are all items that can easily be pulled down from a child trying to climb onto them.

4. Use child-proof locks

Kitchens are filled with items that can become dangerous for both children and pets in an instant. Knives, spices, and cleaners can all stay safely out of the hands (and paws) of children and pets by installing child-proof locks on all the cabinets that need to stay off-limits.

5. Don’t buy poisonous plants

The first step in avoiding poisonous plants is finding out which ones can be toxic to children and pets. While most plants are kid-friendly, many can be dangerous to pets, even those you wouldn’t think could be, such as the Aloe plant.

6. Protect outlets and cords

While our lifestyles continue to become more wireless by the day, children and pets are still at risk in homes where items are plugged in. Ensure that your outlets are guarded and wires are hidden or blocked off. Not only can you prevent risk of shock, but you can also protect the items you have plugged in – like that television that you don’t want to come crashing onto the floor!

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TRENDS TO TOSS

With millennials making up nearly 40% of the home buyers on the market today, up-to-date style is a huge consideration in the buying process. When nearly half of your potential buyers have likely scrolled through Pinterest or watched HGTV more times than they can count, it is important to keep in mind that they are going to be style-conscious. While you don’t need to do a full home renovation, getting rid of some outdated trends will help your home appeal to a larger buyer pool. Here are some trends to toss (and avoid altogether during staging) if you want your house to be marketable in 2019!

Curly Ironwork

One of the biggest trends today is sleek and modern design. Curly ironwork and other chaotic decor can be distracting. Avoid having large metal pieces of decor or art in your home during open houses.

Faux Props

Some faux plants add the perfect touch to a home, but in many cases, faux is not the way to go. Faux fruit and some faux plants look unnatural and dated. Replace the fake with something authentic – which will never go out of style.

Tuscan Furniture 

You may have invested more money than you planned in heavy drapery and cherry wood furniture to have the bedroom of your dreams, but Tuscan decor is out of style. Instead of completely removing your bedroom suite, take down your drapes and paint your cherry wood black. Add silver or gold fixtures and you’ve got a modern bedroom.

Window Treatments

A major key to selling your home is making it look as open and inviting as possible. There is no need to invest in expensive window treatments, and if you already have, take them down during showings. Large treatments can hold on to lingering smells and can instantly date a room. The only treatments you should leave are simple panels or wood blinds. Allow your windows to do what they’re meant to do – let light in!

It is important to know your market. It is my job to help you. If you want more details on what the target buyer is looking for in our market today, give The Wheaton Team a call!  719-536-4581

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***REPAIRS TO MAKE BEFORE SELLING YOUR HOME***

So you’re ready to put your home on the market and to you, everything looks great. Unfortunately, much of the wear and tear on your home becomes unnoticeable when it is something you see everyday. While you may not think about the one light switch that doesn’t work or the chipping paint in the guest bedroom, now is the time to take a step back and look at your home with fresh eyes. When you decide to sell your home, the first thing you should do is make any repairs you can to save yourself money in the long run. Here are a few repairs to cross off so you can get the best deal for your home!

1. Paint Your Walls

Re-painting the rooms that need a fresh face is the cheapest way to update the appearance of your home. Consider using light, neutral colors to appeal to a broader group of buyers. If the room is too dark or has chipped or dirty paint, make it look brand new with a coat of paint.

2. Make Minor Kitchen Repairs

Even if your kitchen isn’t large and spacious, a full renovation might not make sense financially. If your agent doesn’t advise you towards a renovation, consider making minor repairs instead. Paint what needs painted and install new fixtures where necessary. If your appliances aren’t operating properly or are in awful shape, you will need to replace them.

3. Update Your Bathroom

The first priority is making sure your bathroom looks clean. If the toilet looks old, replace the seat to give it a fresh new appearance. Replace any tiles that may be missing, clean the grout, and remove old wallpaper that may still remain. This is a room you should consider painting if need be to make it appear bright and clean.

4. Fix The Exterior

The outside of your home is the first thing buyers will see, so it is important that it looks good. Touch up the yard with sod as needed, remove any junk that may be in the yard, and make sure your fencing doesn’t have any missing parts or boards. Mow your grass and consider renting a power washer to make your siding look brand new.

5. Maximize Lighting

The goal is to maximize light so you can maximize the appearance of space. Light does a great job of making rooms look larger than they are. Update your fixtures, ensure that your windows appear clean and new, and add mirrors across from light sources to reflect even more light.

6. Ensure Functionality

Potential buyers are going to want everything to work. Do a full walk through of your home, checking all light switches, doorknobs, and locks. Repair or replace anything that doesn’t work as it should. The less issues that arise during the buyer’s home inspection, the better chance of you maximizing your profit during the sale.

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DIY SHIPLAP FOR $40

Thanks to Chip & Joanna Gaines, shiplap is filling homes across the country, and for good reason. Shiplap can give you a beautiful feature wall without having to choose an accent color you may not be crazy about in a few months. If done wisely, it doesn’t have to be expensive either. Here is a guide to create your own shiplap without breaking the bank.

What You’ll Need:
Nail Gun & Nails
Table Saw*
Compound Miter Saw*
Stud Finder
Underlayment Plywood
Construction Adhesive
1/8 Inch Tile Spacers
Spackling Paste
250 Grit Sandpaper
Paint (With Primer Included)

*Your local home improvement store where you purchase your plywood can typically cut your boards into planks if you do not have these tools at home. Make sure your boards will collectively be long enough to fit the wall you plan to shiplap.

Step 1: Prep Your Planks

Measure the wall you plan to shiplap and make sure you get enough plywood to cover the wall. You get to decide how wide you want your planks to be, but 6 inch planks are a great size for any home. Be sure to cut the final full-length planks into a variety of sizes so that you can achieve that staggered shiplap look.

Step 2: Hang Your First Row

Use your stud finder to locate the studs in your wall. This is where you’ll be nailing the boards in. Prep your first plank by applying the construction adhesive to the back of the wood. Lay that plank flush with your crown molding to ensure your planks will lay straight on the wall. Once in place, nail the plank twice, once on top and once on bottom, along the stud that the board is covering. Fill in the top row with as many pieces as needed.

Step 3: Use Your Spacers

Before placing the second row, use your spacers to ensure there will be an equal gap between planks. Be sure to do this for each new row of planks.

Step 4: Fill Nail Holes

Use your spackling paste to fill in all the holes you’ve created. Once it has dried, you will need to sand down the hardened paste to create a flush surface with the wood.

Step 5: Time For Paint

If your paint doesn’t have a primer included, be sure to prime the wall first and then apply your first coat. Use a second coat if needed!

You now have the perfect focal point in whatever room you’ve added your DIY shiplap wall to, all for the price of a week’s worth of coffee!

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HABITS OF A TIDY HOMEOWNER

We all have that friend whose home seems to be spotless, no matter the time of day. You could swing by for a morning coffee or stop over for dinner, and it always looks like someone just cleaned. Can you imagine if your house could be like that? Well, it can! Tidy homes are created out of habit. Here are 5 habits of people with tidy homes, so that you too can have a house that looks like a magazine feature all the time.

1. Having A Schedule

Letting clutter accumulate is the easiest way to get a messy home. If you are waiting until the mess is unbearable, you’re going to be overwhelmed by it every time. By creating a cleaning schedule, you can manage the cleaning of your home instead of avoiding it. Create tasks for each day, like a day for dusting and a day for vacuuming, so you are doing a little bit of deep cleaning every day.

2. Create Lists

Break down everything in your home that needs to be cleaned on a list. By creating a list, you will be able to cross off what you complete as you go. This visual helps you to stay on track and feel like you’re accomplishing your goals.

3. A Place For Everything

Organization is the key to a tidy home. If every item in your house has its own home, cleaning will be much easier. This especially helps to prevent junk drawers or counters overflowing with random household items.

4. Get Rid of Clutter

If a junk drawer is already overflowing in your house or you have a closet where you’ve been stuffing items with no other place to go, it is time to purge. Follow Marie Kondo’s advice and get rid of anything that doesn’t bring you joy – especially clutter.

5. Baskets are Best

While it is important to maintain organization when using them, baskets can be extremely helpful to organize and reduce clutter – especially if you have children or pets. While it is easier to manage our own clutter, it can be difficult to put every toy or childcare item away properly when we are in a rush. By having decorative baskets throughout your home, you can quickly clear out an area if you have guests coming over without scrambling to put all those items where they are meant to go. It is important to add basket organization to your cleaning list, that way they do not become just another ‘junk drawer’ of sorts.

Work on creating these habits in your own home and soon enough, you’ll be the one who doesn’t mind when your friends stop by at any hour!

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TURNING A BEDROOM INTO A LUX BEDROOM

For most of us, our bedroom is little more than a place to sleep and relax. However, just because it’s always been that way doesn’t mean that we have to settle for drab and dreary.

One trend that’s gaining steam these days is converting your current bedroom into a luxury suite (or something comparable). If you want to live like you’re renting a room at the Ritz, then you want to follow these tips.

Compartmentalize Your Activities

Making your bedroom more functional is going to make it more luxurious. Add a gorgeous desk for working and a TV area for entertainment, and you’ll be living it up in no time.

Make it Chic

Choose a color palette that is both luxurious and classy. Silver and gold can seem tacky, so choose muted shades that compliment each other.

Also, a brilliant and commanding headboard can instantly upgrade the look of your room without any other changes.

Light it Properly

Finally, make sure that you have the right light to show off your designs. If it’s too washed out or yellow, then it will look drab and run down. Switch to brilliant LEDs and see the difference.

Choose Your Accents Wisely

We already mentioned a headboard, but some elegant drapes can also make your room feel more royal. Being strategic with your furniture accessories is going to both keep you under budget and avoid doing too much with the space.

Are you ready to lux your bedroom? You’ll be impressed by the results, and the feeling of decadence will make you more confident in your surroundings.

For more exciting decorating ideas check back often to The Wheaton Team Blog Page.

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PRIORITY TASKS FOR YOUR MOVE IN

Moving into a new home is an exciting time, and you’re probably daydreaming about decor and paint schemes and new furniture. But before you get into the fun stuff, there are some basics you should cover first.

Change the locks

Even if you’re promised that new locks have been installed in your home, you can never be too careful. It’s worth the money to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that no one else has the keys to your home. Changing the locks can be a DIY project, or you can call in a locksmith for a little extra money.

Steam clean the carpets

It’s good to get a fresh start with your floors before you start decorating. The previous owners may have had pets, young children, or just some plain old clumsiness. Take the time to steam clean the carpets so that your floors are free of stains and allergens. It’s pretty easy and affordable to rent a steam cleaner—your local grocery store may have them available.

Call an exterminator

Prior to move-in, you probably haven’t spent enough time in the house to get a view of any pests that may be lurking. Call an exterminator to take care of any mice, insects, and other critters that may be hiding in your home.

Clean out the kitchen

If the previous occupants wanted to skip on some of their cleaning duties when they moved out, the kitchen is where they probably cut corners. Wipe down the inside of cabinets, clean out the refrigerator, clean the oven, and clean in the nooks and crannies underneath the appliances.

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TOP TIPS FOR HOUSE HUNTING ONLINE

1. Stay up to date. When you start your search, make sure you find a site that pulls up-to-date listings directly from the multiple listing service (MLS) where real estate agents actively post their most current homes for sale. Many online resources update less often or fail to remove listings that are off the market, making it more difficult to sort through the clutter.

Hunting for a new home online is a great place to start your search, but it should not be your end all be all. Good listing agents are excellent at highlighting the best features of the home, but keep in mind there may be more than meets the eye. To make the most of your time and efforts and gather a well-rounded picture of home listings online, keep the following three things in mind.

2. Pictures can be deceiving. Real estate photographers are experts at showing a home in the best possible light. Many use tools and strategies to boost appeal, such as a fisheye lens to make areas look larger and creative editing to make colors and textures really pop. But, often listings will not contain photos of unappealing parts of the home, like small closets or outdated bathrooms.

3. See it to believe it. Once you find what appears to be your dream home online, call up your real estate agent and schedule a showing. You want to take the opportunity to vet the home in person and explore every part of it before beginning the offer process. Your real estate agent will help you cover all your bases and will ask questions you may not have thought of.

We’re here to help you find your DREAM HOME!

Call our office today: 719-536-4581

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EASY LANDSCAPING DIY PROJECTS

Ever get the itch to do a DIY project? Whenever we do, our favorites involve getting outdoors and mixing up our landscaping features.

Whether it’s as simple as installing some lighting or a little more time-consuming like re-plotting plants, a fresh look for the lawn always gives your home a fresh look as well. Here are our top five easy landscaping projects!

Create a pathway.

To guide you and visitors throughout your yard and link different areas together, install a pathway. You can use materials from a variety of materials, including reclaimed pallet wood, flagstones, gravel, and more to add texture and color.

Add a wall or border.

Installing a flagstone, rock, or brick wall around flower beds or trees adds a sleek, clean look to your landscaping and helps separate different sections of your yard.

Install a water feature.

Nothing says zen quite like the sound of trickling water as you relax in your backyard. You can start simple with by purchasing and installing a small feature powered by a solar panel or create a larger focal point in your yard by installing a waterfall wall or small pond.

Light your way.

An easy way to transform your yard is to strategically use lighting. Place cool-colored lights high in trees to recreate a moonlight feel, use pathway lights to naturally guide the eye, or highlight objects or plants.

Plant upwards.

Expand your yard space by drawing the eye to the sky with a trellis fence or screen made of wood or metal. Once you install your trellis, select your climbing plants and vines and get to planting!

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WHAT YOUR CARPET IS HIDING FROM YOU

How many carpeted rooms in your home appear clean at a glance? Even if you think they all look clean, those carpets may not be very sanitary. Spring is here which means if you have snow, it has likely started to melt – exposing dirt and pollen that can now be easily tracked into your house.  Carpets trap dust and odors and can attract mold when they absorb moisture. So often, we forget what our carpet could be hiding because it just doesn’t look dirty. You want to make your carpet last as long as possible, and the only way to ensure that is by keeping your carpets cleaned and sanitized. Here are some steps to take to keep that carpet in the best shape possible, and as clean as ever.

1. Vacuum Weekly

Make a habit of vacuuming once a week, even twice a week in high traffic areas. While it is easy to rush through vacuuming, try taking it slowly to ensure your vacuum is pulling up as much dirt and dust as possible.

2. Use Door Mats

Door mats can help reduce the amount of dirt and dust being brought into your home in the first place. Use both indoor and outdoor mats and be sure to clean them when you vacuum each week.

3. No Shoes, No Problem

It probably isn’t hard to believe that 80% of the dirt in your house is carried inside on people’s shoes. Ensuring that your family members and guests remove their shoes before entering your home will help to greatly reduce the amount of dirt and dust.

4. Treat Spots and Spills ASAP

To avoid permanent damage, make sure you are always cleaning up messes as soon as they happen. It can be easy to quickly wipe up a spill without really cleaning it, but spot treating to remove any residual mess is the best choice. It is much harder to remove a stain once it has set!

5. Vacuum Under Furniture & Rugs

It is easy to forget about the dirt and dust that collects under rugs and furniture. Aim to clean in those hidden spots monthly or bi-monthly.

6. Deep-Clean Your Carpets

If you don’t own a carpet steam cleaner, consider renting one for a deep-clean twice a year. The high-powered water extraction system will clean, disinfect, and sanitize your rugs and carpets to remove anything that regular vacuuming leaves behind.

Keeping your carpet clean is a great investment for your home. By following these steps, you can prevent the need for carpet replacement for many years to come.