Gainesville FL Real Estate Blog

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How to Make Your Outdoor Space More Inviting and Fun

June 28th, 2017 · No Comments

This time of year folks begin to get outdoors to do more around their homes because it is nice and warm outside.   It’s also a good time to do a bit of work outside the house and make your outdoor space more inviting and fun for family and friends.   Below is a list of ways in which you can accomplish this.

  1.  If you already have landscape lighting, why not purchase a few fun colored lights to use in them for different holidays.  This will defiantly make your outdoor space a lot more fun.
  2. If you are getting tired of mowing your grass then you may want to replace your grass with a garden.  You might want to add a garden of flowers or a garden of vegetables or even put in a koi pond.  Any of these ideas will help to keep you from spending your summer evenings mowing the grass all the time, therefore making your outdoor space more fun.
  3. If your patio furniture is old and outdated, now is the time to go out to purchase some that allows you to show your style more effectively.  Outdoor furniture always makes outdoor spaces more inviting and fun.
  4. Adding a new doorbell to the outside of your home may seem like a small thing, however if you find a nice one that lights up the front door area it can do wonders towards making your home seem more inviting at night.
  5. If you don’t already have a swimming pool, summertime is a great time to add one.  Not much can make your outdoor space more fun than a swimming pool for all to enjoy.
  6. If you do add a swimming pool why not go out and make it really fun and cool by adding an outdoor shower to the mix.  This type of thing is pretty rare unless your home is at the beach, therefore your outdoor shower may quickly become the talk of the neighborhood.

There are so many ways in which to make your outdoor space more inviting and fun; these are just a few of them that you may want to try.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Tips for Adding a Fence on Your Property

March 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

Owning a home is a wonderful thing, but you should always be really careful to make the best choices if you make changes to the outside of your home and this includes putting up a fence of any kind.  There are a few tips for adding a fence to your property that you might want to take into consideration before doing so and some of those are listed below.

  1. Before putting up a fence on your property be sure to talk with your neighbors about it. You need to keep in mind that you are not only putting up a fence in your backyard but you are also adding a fence to your neighbors land as well.  Talk with the neighbors that your fence will directly affect and discuss such things as property lines and types of fencing etc.
  2. Another thing to consider when adding a fence on your property is the color of the fence and also the style.  Will the color and style of your fence match your home?  If you need ideas of what style fence will look good with your house consider looking online at some ideas.
  3. You may want to consider planting trees to use as a fence if you decide you can’t find a style of fencing that will look good with your homes style. Cypress and pines are great for this type of privacy fencing and they never go out of style.
  4. If you decide to add a wooden fence, be sure that you know you will have to take care of it and paint or stain it every so often. If you want something that has less maintenance than that you may want to purchase a vinyl fence.
  5. You may want to consider cost as well when deciding what type of material you want your new fence made out of. Keeping within your budget is always a good idea when adding to your home.
  6. Longevity of the fence material is another thing to keep in mind when choosing fencing for your property. You don’t want to purchase a material that will need to be replaced sooner than you wish for it to.

These are just a few tips for adding a fence of any kind to your property.  Once you have gone over these tips you should be able to choose more wisely than you would have without them.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

How to Use Color to Brighten Up Your Neutral Home

March 15th, 2017 · No Comments

adding color to brighten your house

Many houses these days tend to have very neutral colors in them.  One reason for this is because painting your house neutral can sometimes make it easier to sell.  If you plan to stay in your home for more than a few years, why not use a bit of color to brighten up your neutral home.  Below is a list of a few colors you might want to try and where you might want to think about using them!

  1. You might think that magenta would be a bit bright to use as a wall color in your home, but you may want to give it a try!  You don’t have to paint the entire room this color, why not just paint one wall magenta and let the others be a neutral color.  This will help make your room a bit brighter than it otherwise might be as it adds a bit of pop and pizzazz.
  2. Another color you may not have thought about adding to your neutral home is purple. A good place to use a deep purple color in your home to brighten it up a bit is a bathroom or hallway.  Deep purples can add a touch of class to an otherwise drab area of your home.
  3. You can also use blue and shades of blue to help brighten things up a bit. A good place to use blue paint in your home would be the dining room, living room or den.  There are quite a few different shades of blue to choose from these days but don’t be afraid to choose a bright blue to make a room stand out.
  4. Green is another color that can help to brighten up your neutral home. You can choose from shades of green all the way from forest green to lime green.  It may be a good idea to use a more calming forest green for an office space and maybe a lime green for your child’s room.  Greens are also good for sunrooms as they tend to help bring a feel of the outdoors inside.

These are just a few ways to use color to brighten up your neutral home.  Hopefully it has got you thinking of how you want to bring more color into your life  and what rooms you want to add the color to.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Real Estate · Seller Info

Tips on Purging Items from Your Closet

March 8th, 2017 · No Comments

If you are like most people you likely have a ton of stuff in your closet that you don’t really need.  There is something about having a full closet that makes one feel like they have all they need however the art of purging can make you feel so much better about life!  Below are a few tips on purging items from your closet to get you started in the right direction.

  1. When you begin to purge items from your closet  the best place to start is any clothing you haven’t worn in the last year.   A good way to figure this out if you struggle knowing what you have and haven’t worn is to turn all of your hangers backwards and as you wear a piece of clothing turn that hanger the opposite direction.  At the end of the year get rid of any clothes that still have the hanger turned backwards.
  2. Most likely you have a ton of shoes that you haven’t worn lately in your closet. A good idea for purging when it comes to shoes is to just look at them.  Do they have any holes or a lot of wear and tear?  If your answer to either question is yes then it is time to purge those particular shoes.
  3. Many of us have clothes in our closet that we simply can no longer fit into.  If this sounds familiar, do yourself and your closet space a favor and toss those clothes out.  Why waste much needed space in your closet with clothing you can no longer wear.   Make this fun by going out and purchasing a few new clothing items that fit you.  It’s always fun to purchase new clothes!
  4. If you have any clothes in your closet that you absolutely love but they have stains on them that just won’t come out….throw them away and purchase the same shirt or pants new if you just have to have them.
  5. T-Shirts and promotional clothing can also take up space in your closet that is unnecessarily wasted space. Find a spot or a drawer in which you can place these types of items if you feel the need to keep them for nostalgic reasons.

These are just a few ways in which you can get started purging items  from your closet to make the space a more useful and functional area.   Take what ideas work best for you and leave the rest.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Top Things to Purge from Your Kitchen

February 8th, 2017 · No Comments

Top Things to Purge from Your Kitchen

Let’s face it we all have stuff we need to get rid of in our homes, and typically the kitchen has a ton of stuff that doesn’t need to be there lying around in it.  Since we are currently in the cold of winter, there is no time like the present to start cleaning out your kitchen and making it look a bit more presentable.  Below is a list of the top things you should purge from your kitchen.

  1. We all have one, a junk drawer and that junk drawer is many times located in the kitchen. It’s where we put all the items we have no idea what to do with but aren’t; quite sure we want to get rid of just yet.  Take that junk drawer and go through it with a fine tooth comb and decide what you need and what you don’t need.  Throw away all that you don’t need.  Most times the things you don’t need are the items you haven’t used in the past 6 months.  I promise you won’t miss anything.
  2. Another thing we all seem to have lying around our kitchens is all those restaurant sauce packets we feel the need to keep. Sure you might use one once in a while but most times they just take up space either in the junk drawer or in the refrigerator.  Throw all the restaurant condiments out!  It will make your kitchen look much lovelier.
  3. Yet another thing we all need to purge from our kitchens is the dressings, sauces and other items that have long since expired. There isn’t much worse than getting ready to put some sauce on your food only to find that it expired two years ago.  Clean out your fridge and only keep those things that you are going to use within the next week or so or at least make sure that all the dates are current.
  4. Most everyone has some sort of a stack of lids in their kitchen that they just can’t seem to find a container for. If you have a bunch of lids that don’t have matching containers to secure them to, why not just throw them out.  They no longer serve a purpose.

Hopefully this list of items you need to purge  from your kitchen will get you starting thinking in the right direction.  At least it will be a starting point for you.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Buyer Info · home improvement · home ownership · Seller Info

Kitchen Renovations That Won’t Break the Bank

November 16th, 2016 · No Comments

kitchen renovations

Home renovations can be fun but when it comes to kitchen renovations it can get a bit expensive and may even set your budget into a tail spin.  Below are a few ideas for kitchen renovations that won’t be as likely to break the bank.

  1. Paint is a very inexpensive way to renovate most any room and it can do a lot for your kitchen too.  If you are crafty enough you can even try your hand at painting your kitchen cabinets.  You might be surprised at just what a difference painting your kitchen cabinets a different color will do to brighten up your kitchen.    If your kitchen cabinets have always been a dark color, opt for a lighter brighter color and even do a bit of antiquing to make it look like a professional may have had a hand in it.
  2. Another great way to renovate your kitchen that won’t cost you and arm and a leg is to add an island. You don’t have to buy a real expensive island; you can maybe even find a small island at a local second hand store that can be refinished and look brand new in no time.
  3. Yet another easy less expensive kitchen remodel is to simply de-clutter your kitchen.  Many of us tend to set our belongings down on the kitchen table when we walk into the house each day after work and this can make your kitchen look awful after a while.  Simply by taking some time to get rid of the kitchen clutter you can help your kitchen look like a new space entirely without spending a dime to do it.
  4. If you have the funds to purchase at least one new appliance for your kitchen remodel you should purchase a dishwasher in a vibrant color such as a red or pink. This type of kitchen spruce up won’t cost you near as much as buying all new kitchen appliances and it can make a big impact.
  5. Changing out your cabinet pulls and knobs is another easy and inexpensive way to help your kitchen to have a facelift.

These are just a few ideas on how to do some kitchen renovations that won’t be so hard on your pocketbook.

Courtesy Gainesville FL Realtor Linda Luetjen.

Tags: home ownership · Real Estate · Seller Info

Home Improvements to Get Your House Ready To Sell

January 15th, 2016 · No Comments

home improvement

Now that our weather has cooled off a bit, why not get started on some home improvements so that you can get your house ready to put on the market! Below are a few ways you can get started on home improvements both inside and out.

  • A fresh coat of paint inside your home is a great way to improve the way your home looks and get it ready to put on the market.   Try to keep a neutral theme if you can when painting because you want others to be able to see themselves living in your home and not the other way around. You will likely be amazed at just how much difference a fresh coat of paint will make to your home.
  • Panting your front door a color that pops is a great way to get awesome curb appeal. Many folks will love your home simply because it has a red door and it stands out above all the others in the neighborhood. Use a pop of color on your front door to your advantage when trying to sell your home!
  • Pressure washing your home is a great way to make it shine if your home is vinyl siding. You may have lived in your house so long that you forgot what color your siding actually is until you pressure wash it. This is another way to have great curb appeal when you put your house on the market.
  • If your house has columns at the front it may be a good time to replace them or at least give them a fresh coat of paint. Over the years columns tend to expand and crack and make the house look older than it actually is. Give your home a facelift by taking care of issues like these before you put it on the market.
  • Refinishing your hardwoods is another way to make your home look its best. You can do this yourself or you may want to choose to hire someone to do it for you. Either way, refinishing your hardwoods is a great home improvement idea!

Courtesy of Gainesville FL Real Estate Expert Linda Luetjen.

Tags: Home Ownershio · Real Estate · Seller Info

The Real Value Of Your Home Improvement

July 10th, 2015 · No Comments

The value of home improvements has two primary considerations:

  • the tangible dollar value that is added to your home compared to costs
  • the intangible value of your enjoyment of the improvement

home improvementMost homeowners focus primarily on the costs, and whether they are adding dollar for dollar value to their home for resale. Those are legitimate concerns. Let’s break them down…

The tangible costs of a project have many components to consider:

  • The first advice to seek is from a Realtor you know and trust. Ask them for some free advice. You want to know what is the likely increase in value you can expect from a project based on what “comparables” are available. You also want their professional opinion about how the buyers in your market are likely to value the improvement. Lastly, you want recommendations about builders you should talk with.
  • The next step is to talk with at least two builders/remodelers. Ask them to meet at your home. Describe what you are thinking about doing. Ask for suggests they have and for an estimate of what it is likely to cost. Also ask if they do design work, or do you need an architect?
  • Here are some general considerations to think about:
    • usefulness of the improvements to a future buyer will effect the value
    • if the house is older consider replacing electric wiring and plumbing
    • make sure everything is done professionally, even if done by the homeowner
    • badly done home improvements can actually detract from the home’s value
  • Lastly, be very careful about re-purposing a bedroom. It should be able to be re-converted back to a bedroom later. The number of bedrooms has a large impact on the value of a home.

The intangible value of your enjoyment is very important. Try to put a dollar amount on your enjoyment value. What benefits will you and your family gain? How long do you anticipate living in your home? What is your enjoyment worth to you in dollars?

Now you’re in a position to add to the tangible cost estimates you have. Add to the tangible costs the dollar value you place on your enjoyment of the benefits. Then compare that total improvement value to what your Realtor has estimated you can get back at resale. You’re now ready to make a decision whether or not to make the improvements.

Information provided by Gainesville FL Real Estate Expert Linda Luetjen.

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

Home Improvements That Pay-Off

February 21st, 2014 · No Comments

As the spring “spruce up” season approaches, the fancy of Gainesville FL real estate owners often turns to home improvement projects.  Whether these be large or small, interior or exterior, for resale purposes or for personal enjoyment, do-it-yourself or contracted out, nearly 30 % of renovators maintain that they are hoping to increase the value of their home and recoup as much of the cost as they can.

improvementTaking precedence would be the non-glamorous “basic updates” to maintain a healthy, solid, safe home To that end, deal with repainting, fixing the leaky roof, and replacing rotting wood, wiring, and/or plumbing as needed are ongoing needs.

And then?

  • One of the top remodeling projects is as simple as replacing the siding on the outside of your home, thus increasing both protection and curb appeal to your Gainesville FL real estate.  Choose either fiber-cement to recoup 78% of the cost or vinyl for a payback of 69.5 %
  • Updating your windows comes next. Whether you select vinyl or wood windows to replace drafty old ones, you can recoup up to 69.1 percent of the project’s cost on your home’s resale value.  New windows do much for the look of a home inside and out and certainly contribute to energy-efficiency.
  • Since kitchens have become increasing important facets of Gainesville FL real estate, remodeling updates in this room pay off and are well-worth considering.   According to HGTV, you can expect to recoup 60%-120% of your investment on a kitchen remodel, as long as you don’t go overboard. You should never make your kitchen fancier than the rest of the house–or the neighborhood, for that matter.
  • And don’t forget energy-efficiency in the kitchen improvement plans. . By using energy-efficient appliances, households can save up to $400 per year on utility bills.  Click here for a few simple steps to follow when shopping for energy-efficient appliances.
  • The National Association of Home Builders states that adding a bathroom to a single-family detached home has a strong impact on the home’s overall value.  An additional bathroom, even a half bathroom, adds significant value to your home, according to the experts at NAHB.  A half bath may add up to 10.5 percent to a home’s value, while a full bath can tack on an additional 20 percent.

Search all Gainesville FL real estate and Gainesville FL homes for sale.

Linda Luetjen assists buyers looking for Gainesville FL real estate for sale and aggressively markets Gainesville FL homes for sale.

She understands the purchase of any Gainesville FL home represents not only one of the largest and most significant investment a person can make, but also a decision that affects the entire life of a family. It should be handled with all the care and attention such a significant transaction deserves. You may rest assured that Linda never forgets this. Her reputation depends on your satisfaction.

For more information about buying or selling your Gainesville FL home, please call Linda toll free at 888-424-8841 or via email with our convenient contact form.

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

Easy and Inexpensive Ideas To Liven Your Gainesville FL Home

November 11th, 2010 · No Comments

Thinking of staging your Gainesville FL home for resale or just weary of the same old décor? Adding splashes of color, varying textures, and including patterns are quick and relatively inexpensive ways to impress potential buyers or spruce up your surroundings for your own enjoyment


Selection: First decide what colors you really like and what you want the color to do. Consider, too, your lifestyle, the room’s structure, and your lighting. Using a color wheel and understanding the qualities of different colors can be a helpful tool here. In vogue this year are paintearth-toned colors combined with the global colors of bright green, purple, orange, and turquoise. Want a dramatic effect? Contrasting colors–also called complementary because they are opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g. green/brown or orange/blue)–definitely create a mood and enliven a room. Even monochromatic color schemes which feature various shades of the same color can be refreshed by using complementary colors for contrast and visual punch. Remember that warm colors (those based on yellow, red, and orange) tend to “advance,” while cool colors (based on blue, violet, green) recede.

Changing wall color: As an alternative to repainting, you might want to try color washing.  Choose a color that blends well with your existing wall color. Staying in the same family…select a lighter shade to soften the walls or a darker hue to make them more vibrant. You “wash” the walls by 1. mixing your paint 50-50 with latex glaze 2. dipping a cloth into the mixture and 3. applying a small amount to the walls using a “washing” motion.

Accessorize: Look around the room for an item comprised of multiple colors–a sofa, carpet, drapes, or a piece of art are excellent sources. From that item select three colors you can repeat throughout the room–and you can do that in so many ways! Think about pillows, pictures, flowers and plants, objects d’art, and throws in the living room; candles and towels in the baths; canisters, pottery, and hanging plates in the kitchen; placemats and napkins in the dining room; and area/scatter rugs in any room in your Gainesville FL home.


Tags: Real Estate · Seller Info