Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty

Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/19/2017

Home renovations can make you fall in love with a house that you had spent years struggling to feel comfortable in. Another thing that home renovations can do is raise your house's value. But, you have to make the right home renovations,popular upgrades.

Check out these popular home renovations

Because popular home upgrades are often trendy, they may change every several years. Unless you have deep pockets, you may want to focus on upgrades that you and potential home buyers will appreciate for at least a decade or longer. Here are popular house renovations that offer benefits like more living space, better comfort, improved style and greater functionality:

  • Upgraded bathroom - You don't have to knock out walls and redo the entire bathroom. A great bathroom upgrade can be as simple as installing stylish, metal bathroom faucets or replacing bathroom counters with fashionable granite counters. You could also replace your bath tub, installing a classic marble tub or a standalone metal tub.
  • Kitchen counters - People love granite kitchen counters and unique back splashes. Another item that people appreciate is a kitchen island that's topped with a granite counter. These renovations add more space and personality to your kitchen.
  • Finished basement - Little upgrades add more sleeping, living or entertaining space to your house like a finished basement. Go as far as adding a bathroom and small kitchen to your finished basement and you could rent the space out as a small apartment.
  • Covered parking space - By adding cover to your current driveway, you'll enjoy added protection for your vehicles. The cover protects vehicles against hot summer's rays, hail, snow and hard rains.
  • Extra bedroom - Look to your attic, basement or den when you start thinking about adding a bedroom to your house. Use this space as a short or long term living space for guests.
  • Enclosed porch - Turn your front porch into a fascinating outdoor living space.
  • Customized bookcase - This is a popular apartment amenity. Add a customized bookcase to your living room, bedroom or home library. Fill shelves with family portraits, fresh or silk flowers, awards and artwork.

Home renovations do more than improve your living conditions

The right home renovations can shift your opinion of your house from disapproving to very satisfied. Make popular home renovations and you could shift opinions that home buyers have of your house too. If you've been struggling to sell your house and get it off the real estate market, one or more renovations may be in order.

Just make sure that you pay for renovations that lots of people love. Stylish bathroom tiles, fancy kitchen back splashes and newly installed living and dining room bay windows get a lot of appreciation. Other home renovations like roof solar panels empower your house with trendy style.

This type of popular home upgrade is also environmentally friendly. On top of that, it lowers utility costs for homeowners. It's just one reason why popular home renovations offer more than one benefit. It's why popular home upgrades pay for themselves over the short and the long term.

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Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/12/2017

There are several different types of termites but one thing they all have in common is that they eat wood. By the time you've discovered that termites have infested part of your home it's often too late. That's because the damage that termites cause isn't easily noticeable. Termites travel randomly through the soil in search of food and can cause devastating damage to the wood of a home once they find it. Whether you're worried that your home may be vulnerable to termites or if you're looking for a way to get rid of them, this article will teach you everything you need to know about the wood-eating pests known as "silent destroyers."

Preventing termite infestations

There are several good practices to maintain that will keep your home termite-free. Some require work, and others are just good habits to build. Keep these tips in mind to make your home a less desirable treat to termites.
  • Don't stack firewood or lumberon the ground for long periods of time. If you do have to stack wood on the ground, keep it far away from your home foundation so termites won't eattheir way up the wood pile and into the wood of your home.
  • Keep your foundation dry.Termites love moist soil. They'll use it as a vehicle to get to the wooden parts of your home. To keep them away, make sure the areas around your foundation are well-drained and stay relatively dry.
  • Don't let wooden parts of your home touch the ground.Whether it's a porch, deck, lattice-work, or even wood panel siding, make sure all of these surfaces are on a foundation and not just on the ground. Not only will this deter the termites but it will also help maintain the structural integrity of these items by keeping them dry and rot-free.
  • Go easy on the mulch.Using excessive mulch is like giving termites a roadmap to your home. When you do use mulch, make sure it's in a well-drained area. It may seem counter-intuitive, but termites are attracted to mulch mainly due to it's ability to maintain moisture and heat, rather than as a food source.

You found termites. Now what?

If you've noticed that termites are eating the wood on or around your home you have severaloptions for getting rid of them. Your method will depend on the location and severity of the infestation. Do-it-yourself methods If the infestation isn't in a dangerous place (somewhere that affects the structural integrity of your home) or if it isn't too severe you could try:
  • Applying a barrier treatment which stops the termites from entering and poisoning them at the same time
  • Setting a bait station that will attract all of the termites so you can remove them
  • Drilling into the infested wood and pouring orange oil into the holes
Call the professionals
  • If the infestation is bad enough to cause worry the safest bet is to call a pest control company in your area so you can rest easy knowing your home is safe.

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Posted by Karen Adelson on 9/5/2017

Selling your house can be a short cut to feeling victorious. You might start sleeping better the very night that you close on selling your house. That's the good part of house selling. As much as you may want to avoid it, there can also be litigious and regretful parts to house selling. You might never learn about the downsides until after you sell your house. This is when the headaches could start.

Way to protect yourself as a home seller

Preparing your house for a good sale is an effective way to stay safe from future house buyer lawsuits. Actions involved in this include walking through your house, hiring a professional inspector to check wiring, walls, appliances, roofing, flooring, plumbing, stairwells and front and back lawns.

The more honest and transparent you are, the greater you might be able to protect yourself as a home seller. Yet, fixing known house damages and residential property defects isn't the only way to protect yourself as a home seller. Following are more steps that you can take to stay safe from future house buyer lawsuits:

  • Create and sign disclosure agreements - Outline specific defects or damages that you will cover. Leave nothing to chance. Take your time creating housing disclosure agreements. As a safeguard, consider working with an attorney to draft your home seller's disclosure agreement. Don't consider any house sale final until after you and the home buyers have thoroughly reviewed and signed the disclosure agreements.
  • Home warranties - Speak with your realtor about offering a home warranty to the house buyer. You may only need to provide a one year home warranty.
  • Include an "as is" clause in the sale agreements - Do this with good conscience. Think twice before you do this if you know that your house is in bad condition.
  • Don't over sell - Avoid over selling your house. For example, don't say that your house is a four bedroom property, when it's actually a three bedroom house. Two walk-in closets don't equal two bedrooms in many people's perception.
  • Enter smart partnerships - Reputable lenders and realtors should have errors and omissions clauses in their contracts. Work with quality realtors and lenders.

Smart financial protections for home sellers

Financial protections for home sellers can save you weeks of going in and out of civil court proceedings. Attorney's fees, housing repairs and travel expenses are other savings that you can enjoy. Equally important is the chance to finally get back to a good night of sleep.

To yield these financial protections, you have to think beyond the mortgage. You have to think about more than the profit that you could make from the sale of your house. In addition to these priorities, you have to keep the home buyer front and center.

This can motivate you to actually look for problems with your house before you put it on the market. Another thing that it can do is to encourage you to repair damages or, at the least, disclose them to realtors or potential house buyers. Other financial protections for home sellers focus more on you, the current homeowner.

Posted by Karen Adelson on 8/29/2017

As a senior citizen, selling a home and moving to a new location may prove to be difficult. Fortunately, we're here to help you take the guesswork out of packing up your belongings and getting settled into a new address.

Now, let's take a look at three essential moving tips for senior citizens.

1. Plan Ahead

Moving day can be long and stressful, particularly for seniors who don't plan ahead. If you start planning for your move today, you can increase the likelihood of a seamless transition from one address to another.

Think about your belongings and what you'd like to bring to your new address. If you have a wide assortment of items that you won't need at your new home, you can sell, donate or dispose of these items prior to moving day.

Also, if you need to hire a moving company, don't wait until the last minute to do so. Because the longer that you wait to hire a moving company, the less likely it becomes that this company will be available on the date of your move.

2. Secure Your Treasured Belongings

Although you've collected a large assortment of items over the years, you may be unable to bring all of these items to your new address. However, if you sort through your belongings, you can determine which items to keep.

Treasured belongings like antiques, artwork and jewelry generally are keepers. Pack and store these items properly to ensure they won't deteriorate before moving day.

Let's not forget about treasured belongings that have sentimental value, either. Photographs and other treasured possessions should be packed in a safe place and labeled correctly. That way, you'll have no trouble unpacking these precious belongings once you arrive at your new address.

3. Ask Friends and Family Members for Help

When it comes to getting ready for moving day, there is no need to work alone. Senior citizens who reach out to friends and family members for help can streamline the process of preparing for a move and enjoy a one-of-a-kind moving experience.

Friends and family members are loved ones who strive to help you in any way they can. Thus, if you contact friends and family members before moving day, you can work with loved ones to boost the chances of a fast, easy move.

Lastly, if you need extra assistance before you relocate, it never hurts to contact a real estate agent. This housing market professional understands the challenges associated with moving and is happy to help any senior citizen enjoy a stress-free move.

A real estate agent can put you in touch with local moving professionals. Plus, if you need help selling a house, a real estate agent can make it easy to list your residence, host home showings and much more.

Keep things simple as you get ready to move use the aforementioned moving tips, and any senior can quickly and effortlessly prep for moving day.

Posted by Karen Adelson on 8/22/2017

Many people would be shocked to realize just how much money they can unlock from their homes by performing some simple landscaping tasks. Enhancing the curb appeal of your home will also help increase its resale value. This can be accomplished by simply getting your hands dirty planting a flower garden or by hiring a professional landscape contractor. The investment put into your yard will be reflected in your homes listing price. Landscaped yards with a well groomed appearance, tend to be more appealing to home seekers. Yards with gardens that are uncared for, or property that has been left un-landscaped, can really detract from the look of your home and cause your resale value to take a bit of a nosedive. Taking the time to care for your yard and gardens is indication that you care about your home inside and out. An obviously well maintained yard will most definitely attract potential buyers. In order to inspire a potential home buyer to make an appointment to view your home, you need to have them like what they see on the outside first. Working on the exterior of your home and making sure that your yard is well kept will only work to your advantage. Your home needs to stand out, especially if it's facing other competition in your neighborhood. With just a little weekly maintenance you can keep your property looking great. A professional landscape contractor can also be hired to regularly cut your lawn, trim your shrubbery, and tend to your flower gardens. When taking on a landscape project, you should consider how long before you plan to sell your home and recapture your investment. If you aren't planning on selling for five or more years, putting in a vegetable garden or planting your favorite perennials would be fine. These projects would benefit your family and make your yard more appealing and enjoyable. However, if you are landscaping your property close to the sale, you should just focus on projects that increase the aesthetic appeal of your home. Keep your choice of plants, flowers, and stone work very neutral to attract a wider range of potential buyers. Your main goal is to have your home not only be a house a buyer wants to live in, but also a home your neighbors want to live next to!