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25 Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Home

1. Add some character and add texture to your walls with peel-and-stick wall panels.

2. Create a charming accent wall with peel-and-stick paper.

3. Upgrade your countertops to faux granite with a DIY paint kit instead of spending a fortune to replace it.

4. Reseal all those cracks in your tub and tile with caulking and make your bathroom look new again.

5. Update recess lighting without doing any electrical work with magnetic shades.

6. Install crown molding to help make your home look historic and charming.

7. Adding a fresh coat of paint to get that pop of color (or get rid of it) will give your home a touch-up without costing you a fortune.

8. Get the stainless-steel appliances you’ve always wanted at a fraction of the price with paint.

9. Add privacy and a touch of elegance, and make your windows look super expensive, with with “leaded-glass” film.

10. Paint your cabinets to give your kitchen that just-remodeled feeling for pennies versus what it would cost to replace them.

11. Add a new tile backsplash to give your kitchen (or bathroom) that gorgeous custom look.

12. Add a medallion to your light fixtures to instantly elevate your ceiling game.

13. Paint your ugly vinyl floors to get rid of the eyesore without ripping up the floor.

14. Bulk up your baseboards with paint and extra trim instead of replacing them.

15. Install shelving systems in every room to add storage.

16. Upgrade the fixtures in your bathroom to give yourself a mini spa experience.

17. Swap the handles on your cabinets and drawers to update your kitchen.

18. Add a doorbell to your home if you don’t already have one, or upgrade your current one.

19. Update light switches to give your home a fresh look and a tech upgrade.

20. Add some curb appeal and a pop of color by painting your front door.

21. Forget interior designers! Find matching fabrics, paints, and materials with a color match tool.

22. Get even more curb appeal by sanding down and painting rusted railings.

23. Consider these useful tips for upgrading your bathroom.

24. Cover door scuffs and prevent new damage with a metal kick plate.

25. Add adhesive mirrored tiles to the underside or top of your cabinets to subtly reflect light and make your space look brighter.

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Why Should You Stage Your Home To Sell?

As the real estate market turns sluggish, you may have to take steps to set your home apart from others. It won’t be enough to just put out a for-sale sign and wait for potential buyers. One way that homeowners can sell their homes more speedily is by home staging, which can have the added benefit of pushing up the selling price of your home. Basically, staging consists of arranging your home’s décor and furniture in such a way as to make the home have more of an appeal to prospective buyers.

In some cases, home staging can be a relatively simple and inexpensive undertaking. You may be comfortable with just cleaning up your home and removing all day-to-day items. On the other hand, you may want to consider investing a more substantial amount of time and money into your home staging project. The main benefit of investing in landscaping, painting and new furniture is that a potential buyer will come away from a visit to your home with a better idea of how his or her new home will look.

Home staging has been around since the 1970s. Although it began on the West Coast of the United States, the concept eventually spread to the rest of the country. There’s more to home staging than just decorating. The general idea behind home staging is to depersonalize your home so that a prospective buyer will be able to imagine him or herself living in it. By removing piles of newspapers and family photos, you’ll be able to increase your home’s appeal. Another tip is to choose neutral colors for your home’s carpet and paint. If it’s within your budget, you’ll also want to think about buying new appliances. Although many people do a good job of staging their own homes, you can also hire a professional to do the job for you.

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How Homeowners Are Ditching The Tub

Homeowners are looking for large, high-tech bathrooms with sleek color palettes and finishes, according to the Houzz 2017 Bathroom Trends Report.

On average, homeowners spent $21,000 to remodel bathrooms exceeding 100 square feet. That cost drops to about $12,300 for homeowners with smaller bathrooms that are less than 100 square feet. When it comes to age demographics, those aged 55+ spent the most on remodeling their bathroom since the majority of them reported that they don’t plan to sell their home anytime soon.

Meanwhile, millennials, who see their home as a short- to medium-term residence, are choosing to invest less in bathroom renovations. Out of the 4 percent of millennials who renovated their bathrooms this year, most spent $9,200 to 12,500.

Homeowners of all ages were willing to shell out the extra dough for showers (42 percent), cabinets and vanities (40 percent), faucets (35 percent) and countertops (35 percent). On the other hand, it seems that homeowners weren’t so willing to spend extra money on an upgraded toilet.

Beyond updating showers, toilets and faucets, 90 percent of homeowners decided to change the entire style and color scheme of their bathroom during renovations. Contemporary is the most popular style at 25%, followed by transitional and modern. Contemporary is most popular among baby boomers, while Gen-Xers and millennials favor modern styles with clean finishes.

When it comes to wall colors and cabinet, countertop and floor finishes, homeowners of all ages favor a white and gray palette over neutral or more colorful options. Although baby boomers and Gen-Xers are more partial to using wood grain and darker tones, Houzz says paying attention to millennial design preferences is important, especially since they’ll be leading the housing market for the foreseeable future.

Beyond design and decor, homeowners (27 percent) swapped out bathtubs for large showers, and 73 percent of homeowners chose to add high-end features such as rainfall shower heads (55 percent), dual showers (24 percent), curbless showers (21 percent) and body sprays (18 percent). Also, 29 percent of homeowners purchased a high-tech toilet — a 19 percent year-over-year increase.

The most coveted features among toilet techies were self-cleaning (12 percent), optional bidet (8 percent), overflow protection (8 percent) and motion activation (6 percent). The least important features were a self-deodorizer (4 percent) and hands-free flushing (3 percent). Baby boomers also looked for increased accessibility with comfort-height toilets (68 percent).

Previous studies have shown that bathroom renovations yield some of the highest ROIs. It showed that blue and periwinkle bathrooms sell for an average of $5,400 more and that buyers tend to favor homes with clean, neutral colors.

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” said Zillow chief economist Svenja Gudell. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.”

 

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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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Tricks For Hard-To-Paint Areas

While some DIY projects seem like they should be left for the pros, painting doesn’t have to be one of them. Basic painting seems easy enough, but sometimes we run into those hard-to-paint areas and regret not hiring a professional. Instead of hanging up the towel, try out these tricks for those spots and see if you can finish your project all on your own (and save some money in the process!)

Painting Window Trim

Painting the wood diving panes and sashes on windows can seem daunting at first. Most people think that lining your windows with painters tape will help, but that is usually just a waste of time. Instead, just paint away! This is the one time it is okay to get a little paint outside of your target area. When paint gets on the glass, just allow it to dry and as soon as it does, scrape it off with a razor blade. Try not to let the paint set for longer than a day.

Painting Behind Toilets

Sometimes, the hardest places to paint are the tight spaces where we can’t really do much to make that space bigger. This is where you will need a “hot dog” roller. They’re smaller than regular rollers and when attached to a longer handle, can make painting in tight spaces a breeze. You can use this roller for other small spaces, like behind radiators or other fixtures.

Painting High Ceilings

If you’ve got a high ceiling or a tall wall where a ladder can’t safely reach, like above a staircase, you’ve usually got a challenge on your hands. This is where a paintbrush extension tool comes in. Rather than attaching a roller to a pole and losing stability, an extension tool is more like an extension of your arm. Make sure to avoid dripping paint by loading less paint on the brush that you typically would for a wall right in front of you.

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Build a DIY Sporting Goods Center In Your Garage

 

What You’ll Need:

Bookcase

Locking Wheels

Drill

Bungee Cords

Peg Boards

Hooks & Holders

1. Find a bookcase

Choose a bookcase with at least three wide shelves so you can store gear in a variety of sizes.

2. Add locking wheels

Attach locking wheels to the bottom of the bookcase so you can easily move it around the mudroom or the garage.

3. Drill holes

Drill evenly spaced holes (about four or five, depending on the width of the bookcase) along the top surface of one of the shelves. Keep the holes fairly close to the edge — about one-half inch away or less.

On the underside of the shelf below, drill holes to match up exactly with the holes on the shelf above.

4. Attach bungee cords

Place the bungee cord hooks in the drilled holes, and arrange the cords vertically so they create a net. You want the cords to be pretty taut, so get the right size for your bookcase.

5. Mount peg boards

Frame the sides of your bookcase with 1-by-2-inch boards to support peg boards that have been cut to size. Secure the peg boards with a few nails on the top and bottom.

6. Customize with hooks and holders

Place hooks and holders on the peg board so you can hang your tennis rackets, baseball gloves, jerseys, helmets and more.

7. Load up your catch-all, MVP!

Grab your gear and organize the bins however you see fit. Now all you have to worry about is scoring the winning goal.

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HOW TO BLEACH YOUR HARDWOOD

If you want to lighten the color of wood in your home, bleaching may be the cheapest route. You may want to lighten your floor to prepare it for a special finish, or maybe they have just become discolored with age or spills/stains. The first step in this process is to find what type of bleach will work best for you.

The bleach you will need will depend on the source of the color you are trying to remove. There are three types of bleach you can use on wood: chlorine bleach, peroxide bleaches, and oxalic acid. The hardest part of bleaching your floors is finding out what created the current stain to be able to choose which bleach is appropriate. Chlorine bleach will remove dyes and many stains such as tea, blood, and juices. Household bleach is the mildest form and can take several treatments to see results. Swimming pool chlorine, or calcium hypochlorite can be used for a stronger chlorine-based bleach treatment. Two-part bleach is the only choice for altering actual wood color. Stains that do not respond to either chlorine bleaches will typically disappear when treated with two-part bleaches. Oxalic acid is your best choice to battle iron and rust stains. It can remove water stains and some black inks if they are iron-based. You can find oxalic acid in a crystal form. Any bleach will deteriorate the wood, and those chemically weakened wood fibers can be more susceptible to wear and tear.

Once you’ve found your bleach choice, it is time to start! You will need to strip, bleach and neutralize your hardwood floor. Start by removing whatever is the existing finish. You can use lacquer thinner to dissolve lacquer finishes or denatured alcohol to remove shellac. Paint-and-varnish remover will work on most other finishes. Follow your finish remover with sandpaper to lightly smooth the surface.

Mix a solution of washing soda, found in the laundry aisle of most big stores, with hot water in a small bucket following the package instructions. Use the solution to wash over the now-stripped wood and let air-dry.

Next, you will prepare the bleach you have chosen. Chlorine bleach can be mixed with hot water until saturated. For oxalic acid, use 1 quart of hot water to dissolve about 4 ounces of oxalic acid crystals.. For two-part bleaches, simply follow the product instructions.

Use a synthetic-bristled brush to apply your bleach solution. Natural bristles can dissolve and metal materials can create a chemical reaction with the bleach. Carefully spread an even layer of bleach across the wood and place a paper towel over top to keep it from drying too fast. After 20 to 30 minutes, test the wood color. When the color matches your goal, you can blot up any remaining bleach. Rinse the area with distilled water to rinse away any remaining bleach. You will also need to neutralize the bleached area to completely stop the bleaching action. You can use a blend of half hot water and half white vinegar or a mix of 2 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved per quart of hot water.

Leave your wood to air-dry at least one full day. Sand down any rough areas created by the bleaching. You can coat the wood with a light coat of lacquer to help stiffen the wood and help the sanding. You can now refinish the area as desired. If he stain or color does not lift, you can try successive bleach treatments.

If bleaching is too much for you to take on call today, we have wonderful floor vendors that can step in to help: 719.822.1444

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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.