How to Stage Your Landscaping Like a Pro

Curb appeal is often neglected by sellers. So much attention is spent getting the inside of a home cleaned up that the outside is left until last. This is a mistake. Landscaping and gardens are the first things a prospective buyer sees. Following these tips ensures homes look their best and give a positive first impression.

Spruce Up Mulch

A fresh layer of mulch brings out the color in a garden and makes gardens look well-tended. Homes on the market in the spring, summer, or fall benefit from a fresh application of mulch prior to putting a home on the market.

Clean Up

Cluttered yards full of toys and tools are unattractive. Pick up any clutter and place it out of sight of prospective buyers.

Branches, leaves, and other debris are equally unsightly. Rake leaves and eliminate brush to give lawns a clean, manicured appeal. This is important year round.

Renting a power washer to clean driveways and walkways is also advisable. A clean driveway and gleaming walkways invite prospective buyers to picture themselves strolling through the yard.

Trim Grass and Shrubs

Overgrown grass and shrubs look unkempt. Take the time to cut the grass and sweep or blow the clippings off of driveways and walkways. Trim shrubs and trees to desired shape and height, and clean up all trimmings.

Don’t worry about trimming out of season. Well-manicured landscapes suggest that the rest of the house is equally well maintained.

Fresh Plantings

Add a little color in the garden to increase its appeal with some fresh flowers. A new planting ensures blooms look their best, especially against that new application of mulch.

Tend to All Garden Beds

This is the time to spruce up all garden beds. Remove weeds and trim up perennials to create a well-maintained appearance. Remove or trim back any plants that look dead or otherwise unhealthy.

plant and waterfountain

Address Water Issues

Yards with fountains, faucets, pools, and irrigation systems require additional care. The time to fix issues is before the showing.

Resolve any issues with irrigation systems. Clean fountains and pools of algae and leaves. Fix leaky faucets as they suggest issues elsewhere with plumbing.

Fixing up the outside is just as important as a clean interior. Making gardens, lawns, and landscaping appear attractive and well maintained gives prospective buyers a positive first impression.

Don’t wait until the day of the showing. Start working on landscape staging a month before putting a home on the market.

Feel free to contact me if you need any help with buying or selling your home.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Home Additions for the Kids: How to Build a Treehouse That They’ll Love

If you have children, no home is complete without a treehouse.

Treehouses provide kids with hours of entertainment, and can be a benefit to you as the homeowner too. For starters, they can improve property values by boosting curb appeal. When building any type of treehouse, keep the following tips in mind.

Location, Location, Location

Before you head off to Home Depot and get all the necessary supplies, you need to spend some serious time story-boarding the build process. Pick a tree with low, sprawling branches such as an oak or a maple. Furthermore, consider issues like wind, shade and privacy before you start to nail up supports.

Choose Your Materials Wisely

A treehouse built with sub-par materials will fall short in the longevity department and disappoint the kids. Pick out stout oak 4×4 posts for the structural elements and top them off with pressure-treated pine for the floors and railings. Use quality plywood for the interior walls and seal it to avoid rot.

Make Multi-Use Your Mantra

Treehouses that are simply shacks suspended above ground will quickly bore youngsters no matter how well-built they may be. Incorporate elements such as swings, rope ladders and even zip-lines to get more from your treehouse. As long as you’re putting in the effort, you might as well add all of the bells and whistles.

Bake Safety Into the Recipe

You don’t want the kids to get hurt when they’re frolicking among the branches. Make sure to put up handles and permanent rails so that adolescents are less likely to slip and fall. If you want to go all out, add a few safety nets around the edges for extra security.

Heed Aesthetics When Designing

An unadorned treehouse quickly turns into an eyesore over time as it’s battered by the elements. Shingle the roof and paint the exterior walls so that they match your home. Kids will naturally gravitate towards a treehouse that looks appealing and your neighbors won’t complain about a shoddy structure in your weeping willow.

It’s More Than a Treehouse

While many young kids will no doubt love a full-featured treehouse, it’s usually the improvement in home value that will appeal to adults. It’s a win-win, and building one can be a fun family project when the weather gets nice.

If you have any questions about improving your home to raise its value, contact me and I’d be happy to help.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

3 Painting Tricks to Spruce Up Your Home

When it comes to painting the walls of a house, sometimes subtle is best. You want to add design, color, and texture to the walls, but you don’t want it jarring to the eyes. Here are three subtle painting techniques you can try on your home walls.

Tissue Paper Texture

One easy way to add texture to walls is to use tissue paper. You apply the tissue paper to the walls and it stays there until you want something new.

Crumple up a piece of tissue paper into a tight ball and then open it up and smooth it out. Small textured lines will appear on the paper. Those lines will remain when you use the paper on the walls.

Use the colored wall paint as glue to adhere the tissue paper to the wall. Paint an area of the wall that’s a little bit bigger than the piece of tissue paper. Press the paper to the painted area and smooth it out so all the edges stick to the wall. Paint over the tissue paper. Repeat the process until the entire wall is covered.

pretty living room

Sponge Color-on-Color Technique

Natural sponges create a unique look on painted walls. If you use two versions of the same color, satin and semi-gloss, then it creates a subtle look that isn’t shocking to the eyes. The color is the same but the shine is different.

Paint your wall with the satin color paint. Let it dry completely. Dip the top of the natural sponge in the semi-gloss paint. Dab the sponge to the wall over and over. It’s okay to overlap the paint in areas and you aren’t going to completely cover the wall.

Once dry, the satin paint will show from beneath the semi-gloss paint creating a neat shine effect.

Taped Stripes

You don’t want bold multi-color stripes on your wall because it will stand out too much. Subtle stripes create a much more desirable effect.

Choose two colors that sit side-by-side on the color spectrum. Or, choose two similar colors from different companies. Paint companies tend to have slight differences in colors.

Paint the walls your first color choice. Let it dry completely. Tape the walls using painters tape to make stripes. Make them horizontal, vertical, or diagonal. Make them wide or thin. It’s up to you. Paint the walls again with the second color choice. Paint right over the tape. When you remove the tape, the first color will show.

These simple and subtle paint techniques will make your walls look amazing. This is especially useful if you plan to sell your home and want to increase its value. Get in touch with me for more information on simple ways to make your home more inviting to potential buyers.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

3 Inexpensive Renovations That Boost Home Resale Values

To get top dollar for your home, renovations may be necessary. However, some renovations can prove costly and they don’t always add value to your home. Here are three inexpensive renovations that are sure to improve the resale value of your home.

First Impressions Matter

Your home needs to have curb appeal. If the potential buyer doesn’t see that, it will be difficult to get the price you want. Spend money and time landscaping your yard. Pressure wash your driveway. Paint your front door. Make your porch look welcoming. If you do all of this yourself or with the help of family and friends, the costs will be reasonable.

After a prospective buyer is impressed by your nicely kept lawn, you will want to continue impressing them with your interior design. Buyers know what they want when it comes to the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You have something they want, or else they wouldn’t be looking at your home. Now, you need to keep their attention.

Freshening Up the Interior

Each room should be freshly painted in a neutral color. Old wallpaper and borders should be stripped and walls repainted.

Make each room look larger by clearing any clutter. If possible, remove any unnecessary furniture and store it somewhere else. Have any carpets professionally cleaned, and be sure to polish any hardwood flooring. In the bedrooms, de-clutter your closets.

Your kitchen and bathrooms should be sparkling. Clean and organize counters and cabinets. Again, most of these suggestions cost little but add great value to your home.

kitchen4

Upgrades

When you think of upgrades, you may automatically assume major costs with little return. However, many upgrades may be within your budget. Consider making some of these affordable upgrades to your home.

Living Areas & Family Rooms – If you’re going for a more elegant touch, add some crown molding. For a more rustic feel, add box beams. Improving the ceilings of main rooms will add value to your home.

Hardware and Fixtures – Painting and changing the hardware on your cabinet doors can change the look of a room dramatically. Add new fixtures such as lighting and doorknobs for a more updated look.

Selling your home may require you to spend a little money, but you’ll likely get the full value of your home. Get in touch with me today if you want to discuss the accurate value of your home.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com

Remodeling on a Budget: How to do It right

kitchen-remodelling-mississauga-1300357_1920

Renovating your home is a great way to get it ready to put on the market, or to update certain things to modernize the house. It can be difficult to come up with a budget and decide on which projects to tackle. Use these tips to come up with a budget that works for you so you can prepare for your upcoming projects.

Choose Your Priorities

You may have several items that need to be addressed, such as the outdated kitchen tiles or the stained living room carpet. But there are one or two things that have been on your mind for the longest. Usually, these are the things that are most necessary to get started on. Come up with an estimated cost for this repair first. You can then compare this amount to your budget and see how much room you have for more projects.

Plan for Extra Expenses

The downside to any home remodeling project is that almost certainly you will run into additional expenses that were not planned for. These extra costs can sometimes add up to break the bank and leave your task unfinished. Instead of being optimistic when estimating costs, add a little extra to expand your budget in case unexpected expenses come up. And if they don’t, you have some leftover for other things to fix up!

Determine an Economical Approach

At first glance it might seem that your entire bathroom needs to be remodeled. But maybe just painting the walls and cabinets is enough to achieve the look you are going for. It’s important to not get too carried away when planning for renovations. Focus only on what needs to be done, and how to get the most bang for your buck. If done right, you can increase the value of your home more than the cost of the repairs involved.

Upcoming renovations can be difficult to plan for. However, the most important thing to sort out before hand is your budget for the projects. Take your time to decide on what really needs to be done, and how to go about it in the most cost efficient way.

If you have any questions about how remodeling can affect your home’s value, reach out to me and I’ll gladly answer your questions.

Maria Lopez
RE/MAX Advance Realty
(305) 467-0774
MLopez5020@gmail.com