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Protecting Your House After Snow

Who doesn’t love a snow day? Cuddling on the couch with a mug of hot cocoa while watching holiday movies can make anyone not want to venture out into the cold. Next time you find yourself in this spot, it will be a good idea to head out for half an hour to protect your home, especially if you want to sell in the future. Once your driveways and sidewalks are shoveled, check out these tips on protecting your home that you may not have considered.

Clear Your Vents: Make sure your furnace vents are clear of snow. Carbon monoxide could build up if your furnace vent is blocked.  A blocked vent may also cause a hot water heater to quit functioning. Use a broom to remove any snow.

Uncover Fire Hydrants: If you live near a fire hydrant, you should take a few minutes to dig it out if you notice it is covered – this can help a firefighter if there is an emergency!

Unblock Ice Dams: Be sure to check your gutters for ice dams. When ice dams are present and water backs up, it slows the water melting off the roof behind it and that water then seeps under the shingles and into the house.

Sweep Off Hot Tubs: Always broom off your hot tub if you happen to own one. The weight of heavy snow can cause the cover to buckle in the middle.

Shovel Decks:  If there is more than half a foot of snow, you may want to consider clearing it from your deck. Using plastic shovels can help prevent unwanted scratching on your deck material. Avoid using ice melter or salt as it could damage wood decks.

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Turning a House into a Happy Home

Turning a House into a Happy Home | MyKCM

We talk a lot about why it makes financial sense to buy a home, but more often than not, we’re drawn to the emotional reasons for homeownership.

No matter the living space, the feeling of a home means different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the feel-good connections to our own homes are typically more important to us than the financial ones. Here are some of the reasons why.

1. Owning your home is an accomplishment worth celebrating

You’ve likely worked very hard to achieve this dream, and whether it’s your first home or your fifth, congratulations are in order for this milestone. You’ve earned it.

2. There’s no place like home

Owning your own home offers not only safety and security but also a comfortable place where you can simply relax and kick-back after a long day. Sometimes, that’s just what we need to feel recharged and truly content.

3. You can find more space to meet your needs

Whether you want more room in your home for your changing lifestyle (think: working from home, virtual school, or a personal gym), or you simply prefer to have a large backyard for socially-distant entertaining, you can invest in a location that truly works for your evolving needs.

4. You have control over renovations, updates, and your style

Looking to try one of those complicated wall treatments you saw on Pinterest? Tired of paying an additional pet deposit for your apartment building? Maybe you want to finally adopt that fur-baby puppy or kitten you’ve been hoping for. You can do all of these things in your own home.

Bottom Line

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a move-up buyer who wants to start a new chapter in your life, now is a great time to reflect on the intangible factors that turn a house into a happy home.

The Wheaton/Wass Real Estate Team is here to help.  Call today: 719.822.1444

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9 Ways to Increase Natural Light in Your Home

natural light in home

Unless you’re planning on an expensive remodel, there aren’t a lot of ways to increase the amount of natural light entering your house. There are, however, a handful of clever ways you can maximize the available light to illuminate the rooms in your home. Read on to learn how homeowners can increase the impact of natural light.

1. Hang More Mirrors.

Mirrors are a great way to magnify and reflect natural light. Try placing a mirror on the wall next to (or opposite from) a window. When placed next to a window, mirrors tend to make it feel like you have more windows on your wall. When placed across from a window, a mirror can reflect views and light from the window. All of this serves to make a home feel more illuminated without having to pay for a major remodel.

2. Turn Your Walls into “Mirrors.”

If you paint your walls with a glossier paint, it will help magnify the impact of any natural light entering your home. The high sheen improves light reflectance, causing more sunlight to bounce off the painted surface, similar to a mirror.

With that said, you really shouldn’t use a high-gloss paint on interior walls; instead, go with an eggshell or try semi-gloss interior paint. If you have an especially dark room, you may be able to get away with using glossy paint on your walls. Just bear in mind that more gloss will produce greater glare from artificial light.

3. Use Reflective Glass or Tiles.

Glass tiles can reflect nearly 100% of natural light. Glossy ceramic tiles can have a similar effect in kitchens and bathrooms. A tile backsplash can really open up a kitchen by making it feel more airy, due to reflected light. For maximum reflection, you can turn up the light even more by installing metallic backsplash tiles.

4. Install Glass Blocks.

If you have open wall space or a little money to create some, you can add glass blocks, which do a great job of reflecting existing light and brightening up rooms. Bear in mind that glass blocks are not a structural replacement for wall studs, so you will have to have headers installed over the block sections, similar to a window or door unit.

5. Install Skylights.

Skylights are an incredibly effective way of drawing in more natural light. In addition to offering as much glazing area as a standard medium-sized window, they also point upward toward the sun. Skylights also draw in more consistent light compared to windows because they are less natural light in roomlikely to be affected by the sun’s movement or shadowed by trees and other outdoor objects.

6. Update Your Flooring.

You can transform ordinary flooring into a light-friendly surface by installing ceramic, wooden or stone floors with polished finishes. These will all reflect far more light than traditional carpet. If you can’t bear to part with carpeting, consider switching to a lighter, more neutral color.

7. Paint ceilings lighter than walls.

Flat white paint is best for homes with white walls. If you have darker walls, however, you may not want a white ceiling. To maximize light reflectivity, it’s important to choose a slightly lighter color for ceilings. While not reflective like semi-gloss or glossy paint, matte paint can be a good choice for reflecting light.

8. Don’t Block Out the Light.

Avoid thick, light-blocking window treatments. Instead, go with translucent shades that deliver privacy while allowing more light into your home. In addition to increasing the flow of natural light, this will provide a soft glow and bounce light onto both sides of the wall directly adjacent to the window.

9. Remove Obstructions.

Be sure to eliminate any exterior items which may be interrupting light flow into your home’s windows. Trim back trees, bushes and vines wherever necessary. While you’re outdoors, give all your windows and glass doors a thorough cleaning to make it easy for light to filter into your home.

With 60 years of collective experience, The Wheaton Team provides expert advice and invaluable guidance for home buyers and sellers. Our team specializes in residential real estate throughout all of Colorado Springs and the entire Tri-Lakes area. We can guide you through the complex selling, buying and financing process. Contact our attentive team of knowledgeable real estate professionals to learn more.

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6 SMART HOME DEVICES FOR LESS THAN $100

Every day, the world presents us with new technology. It seems like there isn’t much left that technology can’t do. Thankfully, with every advancement, many items have become more affordable. While a high-tech home may not be the choice for everyone, there are plenty of budget-friendly options to try out if you are interested in making your home a little bit more accessible. Here are 6 items to try:

  1. Smart Speakers

    Setting reminders, asking questions, and playing music on demand has never been so easy! Smart speakers are capable of making lists for you, looking up recipes, and so much more.

  2. Smart Plugs

    Left the coffee pot plugged in and need to turn it off, but you aren’t home? Smart plugs allow you to turn off (and on) something plugged in from your phone. These are also great for lighting systems like lamps or even holiday lights.

  3. Smart Doorbells

    Smart doorbells are an incredible investment. Monitor who is ringing your doorbell, when packages are dropped off, and so much more all with your phone!

  4. Smart Locks

    Lost keys? Need to let someone in to water your plants while you are out of town? Smart Locks allow you to use your phone to lock and unlock your door, or just use a keypad!

  5. Smart Switches

    Smart switches allow you to turn lights off and on with your phone. Next time you forget to turn off the kitchen light and you are already in bed, smart switches can save the day!

  6. Smart Bulbs

    Adjust the brightness of color in any room when you install smart bulbs. Great for kids or rooms where you want to be able to dim the lights!

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Sell Your Home With These Quick and Easy Home Repair Projects You Can Do in a Weekend

easy home repair projects

Even simple renovations can make a home seem much more desirable in the eyes of prospective buyers. Here are some easy DIY projects to help pique buyer interest in your home.

Refresh your walls with some paint. You can give drab, washed-out rooms a compelling burst of depth by adding a fresh coat of paint. Ideally, you should try to keep things neutral, so prospective buyers will have an easier time picturing themselves and their possessions in the property. Be sure to prime water stains, crayon marks and other flaws before painting, so they won’t bleed through. You should also choose a nice eggshell or satin paint sheen for the walls and a semi-gloss or gloss paint for trim and woodwork.

Add privacy by installing interior shutters. Commonly used in urban and southern homes, interior shutters add architectural and historical detail to a home. They also filter out overwhelming sunlight, reduce cooling bills and add an element of privacy, especially on windows facing neighboring homes. A quick and easy weekend DIY project, interior shutters are easy to install on any window because they attach to the frame that either sits within the window opening or on the outside of the window casing.

quick and easy home repair projectsReplace fixtures. New fixtures can have a dramatic effect on every room of your home. Whether it’s fresh lighting fixtures, an updated faucet or a new towel rack, even minor enhancements can significantly transform the look and feel of a home. New switch plates and outlet covers allow you to freshen up rooms without having to put forth much effort. You can make these renovations in a matter of hours for a relatively small investment. Many people are shocked when they see just how much new fixtures can alter the aesthetic of their homes. 

Revive an old deck. Years of weather and neglect can leave decks looking gray. That said, even the most hopeless-looking wood deck can be revived. You can use a power washer to “burn” the gray layer away and expose fresh, raw wood. You can then brush on a protective coat of semitransparent stain to shield it from the elements. The end result can be dramatic. Just be sure to always power wash along with the grain of the wood to keep from damaging your deck. 

Add some low-cost flooring. Long before plastic-laminate planks and sheet flooring, there was vinyl tile. Originally designed as an alternative to cheap-looking linoleum, vinyl tile grew in popularity because it was easy to clean, colorful and crack-resistant. These days, it’s available in all sorts of dynamic patterns, colors and textures, making it easy to craft checkerboard designs and floors with compelling contrasting borders. Consider it as a quick, cost-effective way to refresh dining areas, laundry rooms and entryways. 

Enhance your entryway. Since your home’s entryway is the very first thing buyers will see, you should spend some extra time enhancing its appearance. A welcoming front porch can significantly elevate your home’s curb appeal. Add a fresh coat of paint to your front door and dress it up with new hardware. Add a welcome mat and potted plant to your front porch and consider installing outdoor lighting to illuminate the walkway. 

Spruce up your landscaping. Attractive shrubs and colorful plants can add powerful curb appeal to any home. When shopping at your area garden center, however, be sure to “think green.” Choose plants that are drought-tolerant or native to the region. Since these plants require less water, they will flourish without a lot of oversight or maintenance. This will help save you time while you are trying to sell your home and give a you a valuable selling point for busy buyers who don’t have much of a green thumb. 

Boost your backyard. You can easily create an attractive outdoor patio over the weekend by strategically placing flagstone in your backyard. Add potted plants, exterior lighting and outdoor seating, such as a weatherproof bistro set or an eclectic collection of colorful chairs to craft a quaint backyard escape that extends your home’s living space. 

If you’re thinking about selling your home, The Wheaton Team can help. We specialize in residential real estate in Colorado Springs and the entire El Paso County. Let us help simplify the complicated selling process and help you sell your property for a price that meets your expectations. Contact us today to get started!

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Gardening Tips to Help Your Yard + Your Stomach

Though millions of households at the beginning of the year already had their own gardens started, there should be no surprise that the numbers are on the rise. With everything going on in the world, the idea of not having to leave the comfort of your home for sustenance is quite appealing. Not only is gardening a great way to source your own food, but it is also an excellent way to pass the time if you  feel like you have a bit extra on your hands at the moment. If you have never gardened before, doing a little research ahead of time can make all the difference in how well your garden succeeds. Here are a few tips to help you get started!

 

Start Inside

Though temperatures are on the rise, evenings may still be chilly depending on where you live. Starting your vegetable growth indoors will protect them from any potential freezing. Growing your seedlings indoors also gives them the opportunity to get a little stronger before facing the harsh conditions that can arise outside.

Choose The Best Location

Before preparing your garden, you will want to find out what spot of your yard is best for your beds. You will likely want a spot where there is direct sun for at least 8 hours a day, as this is the norm for many vegetables.

Install Raised Beds

Once you’ve found the best location and your seedlings are growing, you will want to prepare your garden for transfer. Using raised beds allows for a deep soil stack for further root growth and can just making planting easier. It can even prevent unwanted critters from stealing your vegetables!

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Quarantine Spring Cleaning

There’s a good chance you’re spending more time at home than you are used to. Whether you had travel plans change, or you are now working remotely from home, or you are on a ‘shelter-in-place’ order from your local government, you probably have some extra time on your hands. Now is the best time to get ahead on spring cleaning so when things are looking up, you won’t have to worry about clutter or chaos at home!

Take advantage of this extra time. While a large project can seem daunting, added stress is unnecessary. Taking on a project like spring cleaning step by step can help it feel doable. Make a list of what you want to take care of, section by section.

For example:

-Backyard – sweep patio, clean furniture, update light fixtures
-Kitchen – deep clean floors, clean out fridge and pantry, organize freezer items

Once you’ve made a step by step list for each part of your home, you can create a to-do list for the members of your house and spread the items out over the next week or two.

This is also a great time to get rid of clutter. If you are spending more time in your house than usual, it may become more obvious what is clutter and what is necessary. Take time on one of your first days home to deem items as “clutter” and store them away. If you didn’t miss them over that week, you know it is time to toss or donate them when you can leave your house again.

As you continue to clean, you may be concerned about a shortage of cleaning products. Even if the shelves are running low on Lysol, you can create your own DIY disinfectant. A popular combination includes rubbing alcohol, essential oils, and water. You can also use vinegar and dish soap to clean glass!

Lastly, make it fun. Open the windows if the sun is shining and play your favorite music. Being stuck inside doesn’t have to feel so terrible.

Let The Wheaton Team help you will all your Real Estate needs!

Call today: 719-536-4581