Gainesville FL Real Estate Blog

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Ways To Go Green Inside Your Home

October 7th, 2016 · No Comments

questions to ask

Everyone these days is talking about “going green” and making the world a cleaner place for our children and grandchildren.  You may not think that you can do much towards this green movement but the truth is that you can.  There are many simple and easy ways to go green inside your home.   Below is a list of a few of the ways in which you can make your home green, and we don’t mean in color.

  1. Most homemakers don’t love doing laundry and this little tidbit is going to be music to your ears! By letting your clothes pile up a bit you are doing the environment a favor.  Running small loads of laundry through your washing machine and dryer is a waste of energy and a waste of water.  In fact one load of laundry used 25 gallons of water regardless of how full the load is.  Why not do your part in going green by only run your washing machine when you absolutely have to.
  2. Do you enjoy raking up grass cuttings after you mow? My guess is that you just answered with a loud “no”!  There is great news for you then my friend; leave the trimmings on your lawn and let them do their job of being a natural fertilizer!  This is a great way to go green that doesn’t cost you a dime!
  3. By adding a lot of live plants around your home you are doing your part towards helping the world be a cleaner place. Live plants help get rid of some of the pollutants in the air and therefore make the air cleaner for everyone to breathe.  Adding some live plants on the inside of your home is also a great way to help the air be more fresh and appealing.
  4. Microwave ovens use 50% less energy than your oven. The next time your family asks for a meal to be prepared, why not zap a meal into the microwave to help save energy.  If your family objects, tell them you are doing your part to make the world a better place for everyone by “going green” and saving as much energy as you can.
  5. Whenever you purchase sprays and soaps for the house, buy unscented. This will not only make a difference in the environment but will also be beneficial to your own health as well.

Hopefully these few easy ways of going green have got you thinking in the right mindset so that you can begin to make your own home a bit greener.

Courtesy of Gainsville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Home Ownershio · Real Estate · Seller Info

Ideas For Staging Your Basement To Sell

September 30th, 2016 · No Comments

Staging your basement.

If you have your house on the market you likely already have everything arranged neatly and perfectly throughout the house.  However, the one area of your home that you may have forgotten about is the basement.  Below are a few tips for staging your basement so that those who come to tour your home may be more willing to make an offer.

  1. One tip for staging your basement to make it “show” ready is to pick up all of the clutter off the floor.  Most of the time when folks have a basement in their home they tend to use it as a catch all and therefore many items get tossed down the stairs without a second thought.  If you want the house to show the best it possibly can, be sure to put all of your basement clutter away neatly into storage bins.
  2. Another way to stage your basement for a viewing is to paint the basement floor with a sealing paint. You could use the same paint folks use to paint their garage floor with or you may want to do something fancier such as decorative concrete. Whichever you choose, cleaning up the floor of the basement is a great way to make a statement during a showing.
  3. Another good way to stage your basement in order to possibly have a better showing is by finishing the walls with sheetrock. This is not a huge project to undertake and is one that you can likely do yourself without breaking the bank.   Finishing the walls in the basement can make a really big difference in the way the basement looks.
  4. Yet another way to stage your basement is to do your part to get rid of that typical basement smell. Use air fresheners and or fans to circulate the air the basement when you know that someone is coming to look at your house.  You can also use a diffuser with your favorite essential oil to make the basement smell nice and fresh.
  5. If your basement is not well lit, you may want to add a few lamps before a showing. This is a great way to brighten up an otherwise dreary part of the house.

These are just a few ways you can help make your home more appealing by staging your basement

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Real Estate · Seller Info

Things That Can Go Wrong When Closing On A House

September 9th, 2016 · No Comments

Things can go wrong at closing.

If you have ever bought a house before you already know that what can go wrong likely will go wrong at closing.   Most anyone who has bought a home before knows that some things that happen at closing are small but some things can be big obstacles if you let them.  Below are a few things that may go wrong at closing and ideas on how to handle them.

  1. Title issues may pop up on closing day and these types of things can be a bit disheartening if you let them. For example you may find out on closing day that there is an outstanding lean on the home you are trying to purchase.  If this happens to you, take a deep breath and let the Realtors do their job and try not to get too upset about it until there is reason to think you might not get to buy the house.  Basically it is important to stay calm in this type of situation.
  2. Another issue that may happen on closing day is the actual money transfer. You may come with a cashier’s check at closing thinking that is the appropriate form of payment when your lender was looking for a certified check or cash.  The best way to not have to deal with this mix-up is to ask upfront what type of payment is preferred.
  3. Yet another issue that may arise at closing is you find out that something that you thought was being sold with the house actually isn’t and it’s going with the sellers instead.  For example if there was an outdoor shed on the property when you went to view it and you find out at closing that the sellers took it with them, you might be upset.  The way to fix this issue is to decide what is more important to you, that you have a shed or that you get the house you want.
  4. Lastly there might be a problem with your credit at closing even though there was not a problem beforehand. To avoid this type of situation, don’t change jobs during the process of buying a house and certainly don’t go out and buy a car or charge stuff on your credit card.

Now that you know a few things that might go wrong at your home closing, do your part to not let any of them get the best of you.  Stay positive and be patient.  Good things come to those who wait.

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Home Ownershio · home ownership · Real Estate

Things to Strive to Accomplish Soon After Your Move

August 19th, 2016 · No Comments

refinancing

If you were lucky enough to move into a new home recently then you need to know a few things that you should strive to accomplish soon after your move.    These things will get you set in the right direction for being comfortable in your new home for years to come.  A few of these ideas are listed below. 

  • Be sure to take pictures of each room in your new home just before moving in. Sometimes the inspection takes place and then the previous owners come back to get a few last items of theirs moved out. You never know, especially if the previous owners were forced to move due to a short sale, what they may have done to the house.  Take pictures before you move your furniture inside.  This way if any damage has occurred you will have full documentation of it and may be able to get things fixed more easily.
  • If you hire a moving company to move your belongings from one house to the other you will want to check all of your belongings to make sure there was no damage done to anything during the move. You should have liability coverage in your moving contract and if that is the case if any damage occurs and you document the damage you should be able to get reimbursed for that.
  • One of the most important things to accomplish as soon as you move into a new home is to change the locks. You have no way of knowing how many folks have a key to your home from the previous owners and you surely don’t want to worry about someone being able to get inside of your home without your knowledge.  Get this task done right away.
  • If you want to make the home have a nice new feel, painting is a great way to do that. Painting an empty house is much easier than having to move the furniture around later.
  • If you are a registered voter and you have recently moved into a new home that is in a different county, you will want to change your voter registration right away. It’s not a good feeling to be turned away at the polls because your address is incorrect.

These are just a few ideas of things you should strive to accomplish soon after moving into a new home. Hopefully they will be of some help to you and yours.

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · Home Ownershio · home ownership · Real Estate

What to Renovate When Selling Your Home

July 7th, 2016 · No Comments

renovate to sell

It can be hard to set a budget and stick to it when it comes to renovating your home.  If you are planning on selling your home soon, you should go ahead and do a few renovations that may need to be done but do the ones that don’t cost a lot of money.  Of course if your home has some issues and you feel you can get a lot more money out of your home if you make those renovations now, you may want to go ahead and do so.  Below are a few tips on what exactly you should consider when renovating your home to prepare it for sale.

  • One of the best ways to prepare your home to sell is by renovating your walls and floors. You can add paint to the walls of your home for a quick “pick me up” that will help your home appear newer than it is.  Refinishing hardwood floors or pulling up carpet to reveal hardwoods is also a great way to spruce things up around your home.  Be sure if you are painting to do so with neutral colors that will be pleasing to everyone’s pallet.  Likewise if you are putting down carpet, be sure to choose a neutral color.  If you are refinishing hardwoods, be sure to stay away from any dark stains that may turn some buyers away.  Stick with the natural light wood floors that seem to be so popular these days.
  • Doors are another place you may want to consider during your home renovations. Replacing your front door with a steel door adds a great deal of value to your home.  Adding some new garage doors may help to add value as well.   Keep in mind you don’t have to spend a ton on these types of things, just replacing old with new will likely be enough.
  • If you don’t have the money to redo your entire kitchen, try upgrading by replacing old worn out drawer pulls or cabinet knobs. You may also want to put a little paint on your old cabinets to lighten and brighten things up a bit.  Keep in mind if money is not an issue that kitchen renovations  can sometimes make or break the sale of your home.  If you need to” bling it out” and you have the funds to do it, go for it.

Any and all renovations you do to your home in an effort to get more money out if it during a potential sale is a good thing.  Don’t go crazy spending a lot of money for cosmetic fixes but ‘DO’ do your best to make your home look like a shiny new penny!

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Home Ownershio · North Central Florida Real Estate · Real Estate · Seller Info