Sign up to get new listings emailed daily! JOIN SIGN IN
Alyssa Brady
REALTOR®

Tips for Homeowners

Real Estate With Alyssa Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Uncategorized | 2 Posts
Community | 4 Posts
Stark County | 5 Posts
Summit County | 1 Posts
December
5

5 Way to Make Your Home Cozy This Winter

Cozy Updates for Homeowners - DeHOFF REALTORS

The winter season brings shorter days, longer nights, and chilly temperatures that require extra effort to stay warm indoors and save on energy bills. With cold weather just around the corner, our real estate agents have five great tips that will make it easier for you to stay warm and cozy at home this winter.

  1. Light Up the Fireplace
    Ohio winters can be harsh, with temperatures that drop well below freezing. If your home has a fireplace, take advantage of the extra warmth and cozy atmosphere you get by building a fire. While most newer homes have built-in fireplaces, some older Akron homes for sale have wood stoves that still put out a lot of heat. Either way, throwing on some logs and starting a fire is a great way to get rid of that winter chill. If you have an outdoor fireplace or a fire pit, you can even enjoy roasting marshmallows on a cold night.

  2. Throw Down Some Rugs
    You may have beautiful hardwood, stone, or ceramic tile floors, but they won't keep your feet and tootsies warm during cold winters. Nothing is worse than stepping onto a freezing hard floor first thing in the morning or late at night. Fuzzy slippers and socks will help keep your feet warm, but throwing down some area rugs will create insulation and warmer rooms in your home. Investing in a few wool rugs or runners, shaggy, thick rugs, and fuzzy bathroom mats will keep you from jumping back into bed on a chilly morning.

  3. Close the Curtains
    If your home has shutters, shades, or blinds, you're likely feeling a little colder during winter weather. These sleek window treatments are popular in many North Canton homes for sale, but they don't provide much insulation against the cold air that sneaks through your windows. To warm up your room, consider adding floor-to-ceiling curtains that you can close over your shutters, shades, and blinds. Choose a heavier fabric and an insulated lining that will keep the cold air outside and the warm air inside during freezing winter temperatures.

  4. Pile on the Throw Blankets
    When planning and decorating for winter, throw blankets and quilts for your home are a must. Whether your design style reflects a traditional, farmhouse, mid-century modern, or contemporary interior, you can find beautiful and affordable throw blankets and quilts that will keep your thermostat lower and keep you warmer on chilly days and nights.

    • Sofas and Chairs – Draping warm blankets or throws over your sofas and chairs will create cozy, inviting spaces for guests, family conversations, watching movies and TV, reading books, and enjoying a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

    • Bedding – When winter arrives, swap out your bedding with warmer sheets, throws, blankets or quilts, and duvet covers. Changing to fleece or cotton flannel sheets, heavier woven throws and blankets, and a soft wool or velvet duvet cover will keep you much warmer while you sleep. If your bedroom stays on the chilly side, invest in an electric blanket with automatic controls and safety features.

  1. Soften Your Lighting
    During winter months, you can create a warm, relaxing atmosphere at home by simply softening your lighting. You don't need an electrician—just replace your light bulbs with soft white or warm white LED bulbs, add new linen or paper lampshades with metallic linings, hang sconces that direct light against the wall, and light some candles. All of these lighting tips create a softer, diffused light with a cozy glow.

Are you thinking about moving to Stark or Summit County? Contact us about available homes that may be the perfect fit for your lifestyle.

November
28

6 Ways to Lower Your Energy Bill for Winter

Lower Energy Bill - Homeowners - DeHOFF REALTORS

The first utility bill in a new home can mean an unpleasant surprise for the unsuspecting homeowner. Not only is the cost higher in a house than in an apartment, but energy costs are soaring across the globe. Fortunately, you can take measures to lower your utility bills, and our real estate agents would like to share them with you.

  1. Seal it up!
    You would be amazed at how much cold air seeps in through tiny openings around the house. Start first with weather stripping around doors and windows. This low-cost process will save you a lot of money over time. But don't stop there. Check for gaps anywhere two materials meet, such as where siding meets the foundation, a chimney, or the roof. Pick up exterior-grade caulking from your favorite home improvement store and apply it wherever such gaps appear. Install foam gaskets behind light switches. 

  2. Install a smart thermostat
    You may find that many of our North Canton homes for sale are already equipped with this modern convenience, but if not, you would be doing yourself a big favor by installing one. You can pre-program your energy consumption based on your schedule. That can save you as much as 35% on your bill. But you can do far more than that. You can communicate with your thermostat via an app on your phone to keep utility use to a minimum when you are out of town, adjusting the house to an appropriate temperature just before you return. 

  3. Lower the temperature on your water heater
    Most manufacturers set the thermostat to about 160 degrees, but you don't need it to be more than 120. If your water heater is an older model, you may need to flush the mineral buildup from the tank. It's a simple process that can save you a lot. Turn off the water and power. Let the unit cool. Attach a hose to the bottom of the unit leading water to the outside. Open the drain valve and turn the water back on to flush. When the water runs clear, reverse the process. Be sure to close the drain valve securely before removing the hose and turning the water back on. 

  4. Maintain your HVAC unit
    Make sure the area surrounding your unit is clean and free from debris. Cut any branches or plant growth that could encroach upon the unit. Change your air filters every three months. After turning off the power, remove the unit's cover and vacuum out dust, cleaning coils and fins thoroughly. Schedule professional maintenance annually, and if you experience a particularly difficult season weather-wise, consider a check-up between seasons. Replacing an aging HVAC unit is expensive, but this may be an important issue to address if your utility bills are excessive. 

  5. Choose the best energy plan for you
    Akron homes for sale offer the buyer a choice between energy suppliers. Talk to your agent to get a list of options. Then call each to discuss their energy plans before you make a selection. Each supplier may offer multiple plans. Pick the one best suited to your lifestyle to obtain the lowest price available.

  6. Don't forget the tips your parents taught you
    Dress appropriately for the temperature and keep doors and windows closed. Turn off the light when you leave the room and unplug energy thieves when you turn them off. Some electronics are actually on stand-by for quick start-up. 

When you're ready to tour some of the most beautiful houses in Ohio, contact us. We will be happy to help you find the perfect new home for you. 

September
19

End-of-Summer Homeowner Checklist

End-of-Summer Maintenance - DeHOFF REALTORS

As the leaves begin to turn and the days get colder, it's time to get your home ready for the harsh winter months. If you've recently bought a house, you may be surprised by the amount and intensity of home maintenance activities. Homeownership is a huge investment that requires regular maintenance and care. That said, it can feel like a daunting chore, especially if you're a first-time homebuyer.

As summer draws to a close, here's an end-of-summer homeowner maintenance checklist from our real estate agents that can help you better protect your investment.

Inside Your Home

  • Inspect the Air Conditioning
    Check and replace air filters as necessary. Inspect your vents, dryer vents, and baseboard heaters for any built-up dust and clean them. Make sure your thermostat is in tip-top shape. Turn up the heat to ensure your furnace is working properly.

    If you have central air, the beginning of autumn is a great time to get your HVAC system serviced. A clean system will be more energy efficient. Moreover, a professional can catch and fix problems when they're still minor, helping you avoid a costly emergency repair down the road.

  • Check Windows and Doors
    Check any openings for drafts and caulk where necessary, as drafts can increase your heating bill by increasing your HVAC system's workload. It may also be a good idea to install storm windows and doors to keep the heat in and the cold out.

  • Home Upgrades and Renovation Projects
    Thinking of adding your home to the North Canton homes for sale listing? The beginning of fall is a great time to get started on home upgrades. The temperature is usually moderate, giving you the freedom to update the bathroom or knock down a wall or two.

  • Touch Up the Paint
    Speaking of home upgrades, there's no better time to give your walls a fresh coat of paint than at the beginning of fall. Temperatures are cooler, which means the paint won't dry too fast like it would during the height of summer. Moreover, fall is warm enough that you can open your windows for longer to bring in fresh air.

Outside the House

  • Clean Your Gutters
    Here's a task you should perform ever so often. Removing leaves, twigs, and brambles from your spouting means you won't have to deal with falling icicles come winter.

  • Repair Driveways and Walkways
    Winter rain and snow can cause the cracks in your driveway to widen and deepen. That's why filling any cracks during fall is important to prevent them from eroding any further.

  • Inspect Your Roof and Soffits
    You can probably get away with a visual inspection of your roof if it's just a few years old. However, it's crucial to perform an integrity test once a year. Check your roof for soft spots, replace loose shingles, and maybe get a professional installer to take a look. Any discoloration in your soffits or stains on your ceiling could indicate a leak.

Are You Ready to Buy a House?

It's true that anyone can shop for a house. But it can be an incredibly stressful experience. Experienced real estate agents can match you with the perfect property much faster, taking some of the hassle and stress off your shoulders. Contact us to get a look at our Akron homes for sale.

May
30

How to Get Interior Painting Right the First time

Interior Painting Tips - Homeowners - DeHOFF REALTORS®

Color is the easiest way to inject your personality into any North Canton home for sale. Interior painting can be a messy project, but there are some tricks get the job done quicker and cleaner. Explore the top interior painting tips from our real estate agents below.

  • Take Time to Pick Your Colors
    You have limitless color choices to choose from for your project. Lighter options make rooms feel spacious and airy, while bolder hues re-energize the décor. You can mix bold and lighter colors to create contrast and highlight accent pieces, art, and other accessories.

    Keep in mind that interior colors look different at various times of the day as natural and artificial lighting changes. So, prop poster boards with different colors choices against your walls to pick the right hues.


  • Buy High-Quality Painting Supplies
    High-quality roller covers and brushes offer excellent coverage, while good painter's tape is your best bet in sealing out drips and blurs. If you use cheap brushes, you will likely see bristles falling into the paint, and the result will look shoddy. High-quality paint is also vital for a smooth finish.


  • Prep Work Is Essential
    Before you paint a room, remove any obstructions that prevent you from moving around freely. For example, move large living room furniture to the center and protect them with drop cloths. Empty each room you will be painting as much as possible for an easier process.

    The next step is removing any hardware from the walls, such as curtain rods, switch plates, outlet covers, pictures, and hooks for towels. Then, thoroughly clean the walls as paint easily peels off dirty and oily surfaces. Fill in cracks and holes and sand the surface to create a smooth working area.


  • Apply Primer
    You get a blotchy finish if you paint directly over the patched sections. This occurs because the joint compound used to fill in holes on the walls absorbs the paint's moisture, resulting in a dull and flat look. Also, these spots appear significantly different from the rest of the wall.

    So, prime the wall to get a smooth finish. Most professionals tint white primer with a little gray hue or the finish paint color. Using tinted primer results in a more vibrant finish, and you will likely need fewer coats to get the desired look.


  • Combine Paint Gallons
    Disparities in color occur from one can to the next, and the difference may be apparent if you open a new container as you paint a wall. So, estimate the quantity of paint you require and pour it into a 5-gallon bucket. Then, stir the entire batch to ensure uniformity.


  • Paint the Trim, Ceiling, and Walls in Order
    Taping off the trim is easier than taping off the wall, so professionals start painting the trim and then the ceiling. Don't worry about perfection as you paint the trim, as you can cover spilled paint when you paint the walls. Also, sand the trim between coats to get a smooth texture.

    You may be tempted to cut in all the room corners before going back to roll the paint for an easier time. However, this method leads to a blotchy finish. Professionals achieve a seamless finish in
    Akron homes for sale by cutting in one wall and quickly rolling on the paint to prevent the cut-in sections from drying out.


  • Protect the Floor With Canvas Drop Cloths
    Old bed sheets and plastic drop cloths do little to prevent paint splatters from seeping into the floor. Instead, use thick canvas drop cloths as they stay in place and are sufficiently durable to last a lifetime. Clean spills with cloth rags and paper towels as soon as they occur.

Your new home is a color away from being the perfect haven. Contact us today to explore our real estate services.

April
25

Patio Plants: How to Choose the Right Ones

Choosing Patio Plants - Homeowners - DeHOFF REALTORS®

Spring is here and spending time outdoors tops the list of things to do. Some people look forward to hiking their favorite trails or picnics in the park, while others enjoy relaxing in their backyard. If you prefer the comforts of home, our real estate agents recommend sprucing up your backyard with some beautiful patio plants.

Backyard patios and decks are ideal for potted plants. In Akron homes for sale, you can change out flowering plants to extend spring blooms well into the fall season. When temperatures start to drop, replace blooms with hardy greenery that will survive winter weather. To create a beautiful patio year-round, all you need is the right plants and decorative containers.

Choosing the Right Patio Plants

When choosing patio plants, consider how much maintenance they require. Some plants require daily watering, regular trimming, and deadheading of spent flowers to encourage more blooms. Before investing in plants, make sure they are suited to your gardening needs. Some easy-care patio plants to consider include:

  • Geraniums – These cheerful annuals come in a variety of vibrant colors that will add beauty to your patio. Geraniums last all summer and into early fall, even if you forget to water them for several days.

  • Lantana – This flower can be invasive in the garden, but it's easy to contain in pots. Lantana is a hardy plant that's hard to kill. It grows well in the sun and produces blooms with pretty multicolored flowers.

  • Marigolds – A big pot of marigolds will add color to your patio. Marigolds are easy to maintain and repel insects that may get on other plants, but they require deadheading to produce new blooms.

  • Ferns – In North Canton homes for sale with shady backyards, ferns are a great choice since they thrive in the shade. You'll find a variety of ferns that range in size, texture, and color for stunning visual interest.

  • Caladiums – Another shade lover, these plants produce colorful heart-shaped leaves. As tubers, they spread nicely and are mostly carefree. They don't have showy flowers but definitely brighten up shady spots.

  • Herbs – If you have a sunny patio, herbs planted in pots will thrive. Basil, lavender, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme grow well with sun and regular watering. Enjoy wonderful smells and use the herbs in your kitchen.

  • Vines – Potato vine (jasmine nightshade) is an easy vine to grow without much maintenance. It's often used as a patio plant because it produces pretty little white or purple flowers that add soft, relaxing color to an outdoor setting.

Choosing Containers

For healthy patio plants, it's important to choose the right size containers with adequate drainage. According to garden experts, plants in pots dry out more quickly, so they need adequate water and good potting soil. Water should be checked daily, and potting soil should be good quality organic potting soil with an organic compost mixed into the soil.

When purchasing containers, make sure pots have ample room for plant growth. Consider the container's size and height on your patio so you don't block views of the backyard. Large pots are good for marking patio boundaries, delineating different patio areas, and providing privacy, but they are hard to move around. Small decorative pots with bright colors and interesting textures make good accents on patios that need a boost in design appeal, and they're very easy to move around.

If you're thinking about buying or selling a home in Stark and Summit counties, contact us for information on available properties and prices in areas of interest.

March
14

Homeowners: Be Prepared for Any Home Emergency

Preparing for Emergencies - Homeowners - DeHOFF REALTORS®

You've just purchased a new home from among North Canton homes for sale, and you're undoubtedly eager to pick out curtains, paint colors, and new furniture. But first, you should be aware of potential problems and how to avoid or at least prepare for them. Our real estate agents share how you can be ready for the following issues.

  • Plumbing Problems
    Clogged pipes, burst pipes, and leaky pipes can cause significant damage to your home and property. This is why we strongly recommend a comprehensive plumbing inspection and maintenance visit with a certified plumber before you move in. This creates a thorough assessment of the plumbing and establishes a relationship with a plumber you can call should a plumbing problem emerge down the road.

  • Electrical Problems
    If you purchase any of the many older Akron homes for sale, be sure to complete a comprehensive electrical inspection. Wiring and fixtures wear out over time, and you'll want to confirm the systems in your home are in good repair. You will also want to make sure that you have good candles, flashlights, batteries, and better still, a backup power generator for an electrical outage. Generators are ideal because they can ensure your lights, security systems, refrigerator, freezer, etc., continue to operate until the power is restored.

  • Fire Hazards
    Fire safety is always a top priority. Ensure that your home has fire alarms in the bedrooms, kitchen, garage, laundry room, and hallways. Additionally, it's a good idea to position an ABC fire extinguisher in each of these areas. Finally, be sure to change your batteries at regular intervals, conduct fire drills with your family, and recharge your fire extinguishers when they expire.

  • Roof Problems
    Make sure that you have extra roofing materials, tarps, nails, and a few pieces of plywood handy. Should a storm blow shingles off or a windstorm knock a tree branch through the roof, this will help you temporarily repair the damage until a professional roofing contractor can perform a permanent repair. 

  • Furnace Failure/Water Heater Failure
    Your furnace and water heater are the hardest-working appliances in your home. Most furnaces last 12-15 years, while most water heaters last between 10-12 years. Make sure to keep (and change) air filters regularly, stay on top of the manufacturer's maintenance requirements, and it won't hurt to enroll in a maintenance plan provided by a local, trusted HVAC service provider. 

  • Security Problems
    Security is a priority you can't ignore. Installing a home security system with remote monitoring capabilities will help you keep an eye on the home while you're away. It's also a good idea to install at least one smart lock on the home so that you can access it via a code or through your smartphone to get inside even if a member of your family loses their key.

  • Cold Weather and Pests
    Freezing weather, raccoons, birds, insects, and other pests can infiltrate your home via cracks in masonry, gaps in insulation, or open crawl spaces. Sealing these gaps with caulk, weather stripping, insulation, etc., will protect your home from the weather and from pests eager to enjoy a free meal and a new nest. 

We encourage you to contact us to learn more about the steps we recommend new homeowners take to protect their homes from the most common threats and hazards.  

March
31

#StayHome: How to Create Functional Spaces in Your Home During the Coronavirus Outbreak

 

Since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), many of us are spending a lot more time at home. We're all being called upon to avoid public spaces and practice social distancing to help slow the spread of this infectious disease. While it can be understandably challenging, there are ways you can modify your home and your lifestyle to make the best of this difficult situation.

 

Here are a few tips for creating comfortable and functional spaces within your home for work, school, and fitness. We also share some of our favorite ways to stay connected as a community, because we're all in this together … and no one should face these trying times alone.

 

 

Begin with the Basics

 

A basic home emergency preparedness kit is a great addition to any home, even under normal circumstances. It should include items like water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, first aid kit, and other essentials you would need should you temporarily lose access to food, water, or electricity.

 

Fortunately, authorities don't anticipate any serious interruptions to utilities or the food supply during this outbreak. However, it may be a good time to start gathering your emergency basics in a designated location, so you'll be prepared now-—and in the future—should your family ever need them.

 

Ready to start building an emergency kit for your home? Contact us for a free copy of our Home Emergency Preparation Checklist!

 

 

Working From Home

 

Many employees are being asked to work remotely. If you're transitioning to a home office for the first time, it's important to create a designated space for work … so it doesn't creep into your home life, and vice versa. If you live in a small condominium or apartment, this may feel impossible. But try to find a quiet corner where you can set up a desk and comfortable chair. The simple act of separating your home and work spaces can help you focus during work hours and "turn off" at the end of the day.

 

Of course, if you have children who are home with you all day (given many schools and daycares are now closed), separating your home and work life will be more difficult. Unless you have a partner who can serve as the primary caregiver, you will need to help manage the needs of your children while juggling work and virtual meetings.

 

If both parents are working from home, try alternating shifts, so you each have a designated time to work and to parent. If that's not an option, experts recommend creating a schedule for your children, so they know when you're available to play, and when you need to work.1 A red stop sign on the door can help remind them when you shouldn't be disturbed. And for young children, blocking off a specific time each day for them to nap or have independent screen time can give you a window to schedule conference calls or work uninterrupted.

 

 

Homeschooling Your Children

 

Many parents with school-aged children will be taking on a new challenge: homeschooling. Similar to a home office, designating a space for learning activities can help your child transition between play and school. If you're working from home, the homeschooling area would ideally be located near your workspace, so you can offer assistance and answer questions, as needed.

 

If possible, dedicate a desk or table where your child's work can be spread out—and left out when they break for meals and snacks. Position supplies and materials nearby so they are independently accessible, and place a trash can and recycling bin within reach for easy cleanup. A washable, plastic tablecloth can help transition an academic space into an arts and crafts area.

 

 If the weather is nice, try studying outside! A porch swing is a perfect spot for reading, and gardening in the backyard is a great addition to any science curriculum.

 

In addition to creating an academic learning environment, find age-appropriate opportunities for your children to help with household chores and meal preparation. Homeschooling advocates emphasize the importance of developing life skills alongside academic ones.2 And with more meals and activities taking place at home, there will be ample opportunity for every family member to pitch in and help.

 

 

Staying Fit

 

With gyms closed and team sports canceled, it can be tempting to sit on the sofa and binge Netflix. However, maintaining the physical health and mental wellness of you and your family is crucial right now. Implementing a regular exercise routine at home can help with both.

 

If you live in a community where you can safely exercise outdoors while maintaining the recommended distance between you and other residents, try to get out as much as possible. If the weather is nice, go for family walks, jogs, or bike rides.

 

Can't get outside? Fortunately, you don't need a home gym or fancy exercise equipment to stay fit. Look for a suitable space in your home, garage, or basement where you can comfortably move—you'll probably need at least a 6' x 6' area for each person. Many cardio and strength training exercises require little (or no) equipment, including jumping jacks, lunges, and pushups.

 

And if you prefer a guided workout, search for free exercise videos on YouTube—there are even options specifically geared towards kids—or try one of the many fitness apps available.

 

 

Socializing From a Distance

 

Even though we're all being called upon to practice "social distancing" right now, there are still ways to stay safely connected to our communities and our extended families. Picking up the phone is a great place to start. Make an effort to reach out to neighbors and loved ones who live alone and may be feeling particularly isolated right now.

 

And while parties and playdates may be prohibited, modern technology offers countless ways to organize networked gatherings with family and friends. Try using group video conferencing tools like Google Hangouts and Zoom to facilitate a virtual happy hour or book club. Host a Netflix Party to watch (and chat about) movies with friends. Or plan a virtual game night and challenge your pals to a round of Psych or Yahtzee.

 

There are safe ways to connect offline, too. Rediscover the lost art of letter writing. Drop off groceries on an elderly neighbor's porch. Or organize a neighborhood "chalk walk," where children use sidewalk chalk to decorate their driveways and then head out for a stroll to view their friends' artwork.

 

Of course, there's one group of people who you can still socialize with freely—those who reside in your home. Family dinners are back, siblings are reconnecting, and many of us have been given the gift of time, with commutes, activities, and obligations eliminated. In fact, some families are finding that this crisis has brought them closer than ever.

 

 

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

 

Even with all of the tools and technology available to keep us connected, many of us are still feeling stressed, scared, and isolated. However, you can rest assured that you are not alone. We're not only here to help you buy and sell real estate. We want to be a resource to our clients and community through good times and bad. If you and your family are in need of assistance, please reach out and let us know how we can help.

 

 

 

Sources:

  1. CNBC -
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/16/how-to-work-from-home-with-your-kids-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak.html

TheHomeSchoolMom.com -
https://www.thehomeschoolmom.com/benefits-of-homeschooling-2/

December
16

Gifts and Gadgets for Every Room in the House

Are you searching for new and innovative gift ideas this holiday season? If so, check out our list of the hottest home technology offerings. We've selected a few of our favorites for every room in the house.

 

These smart systems and devices add comfort, convenience, and a "cool factor" that will delight your friends and family.  So think about who you know that loves the latest gadgets … or add a few of these to your own wish list!

 

 

ENTRYWAY

Ensure the safety of your loved ones with these smart security upgrades.

 

Smart Lighting

Ring, a company best known for its video doorbells, has added smart lights to its series of integrated devices. The Ring Smart Light System includes motion sensors, pathlights, spotlights, and even step lights, which can be turned on and off using voice commands when paired with an Amazon Alexa device. Users may opt to receive a notification when motion is detected on the premises, and—if integrated with Ring security cameras—access a live video stream for an added layer of security. Systems start at $69.99.

 

Video Doorbell

Video doorbells have become an increasingly popular security enhancement for homes, and for a good reason. Homeowners can detect activity at their front door while away, view visitors via video stream, and communicate without opening the door. Since Ring released its first smart doorbell in 2013, a number of competitors have entered the market. The Nest Hello Video Doorbell has some unique features—like facial recognition, package detection, and pre-recorded quick responses—that place it near the top of the pack. Retails for $229.

 

Smart Lock

Smart locks are a great way to ensure your friends and family are never left out in the cold, and the August Smart Lock Pro+ Connect is among the most highly rated. It's one of the easiest models to install because it pairs with an existing deadbolt. The Smart Lock Pro enables a user to lock and unlock their door remotely with an app on their phone. And with the auto-lock/unlock feature, it can be set to open automatically upon approach and relock after entry. Retails for $279.

 

 

 

LIVING ROOM

These fun and functional gifts are perfect for anyone who is big on style—but short on time.

 

Automated Planter

Caring for household plants is easier than ever with the latest advancements in technology. Perfect for frequent travelers or forgetful friends, the Dewplanter uses moisture in the air to water plants without manual intervention. Now nature lovers can enjoy the beauty and health benefits of houseplants without the hassle. Plus, for each unit sold, the company pledges to plant a tree somewhere it's needed. Retails for $69.50.

 

Smart Art

Instead of buying your favorite art lover a single painting, why not give him or her 30,000? With the Meural Canvas, you can access an extensive collection of artwork from around the world to display digitally in your own home. Meural utilizes proprietary technology to deliver an anti-glare matte display that automatically adjusts to the lighting in the room. Personal artwork and photographs can be showcased, as well. Retails for $445 with annual membership.

 

Motorized Shades

Motorized window coverings aren't new, but a lower price point and enhanced features have helped to boost their popularity. The latest Motorized Shades from Somfy can be preprogrammed to raise or lower at certain times of day or controlled on-demand via a remote, smartphone app, or voice command when paired with Amazon Alexa or Google Home. They can also be set to operate automatically in response to the amount of sunlight or temperature of the room. Contact a dealer for pricing.

 

 

KITCHEN

These kitchen gadgets make life a little easier and a lot more enjoyable. They're perfect for your busiest friends and family members!

 

Pressure Cooker

Have you jumped on the multi-cooker bandwagon yet? If so, you know how fast and simple these multifunctional appliances make meal preparation. The InstantPot Duo is a pressure cooker, sauté pan, steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker, food warmer, and yogurt maker all-in-one. It reduces cooking time and lowers energy consumption. Who wouldn't love one of these versatile tools? With numerous cookbooks and blogs devoted to InstantPot recipes, the meal options are virtually endless. Retails for $99.95.

 

Cocktail Machine

Cocktail connoisseurs will appreciate the ease and convenience of the Bartesian Premium Cocktail Machine. Listed among "Oprah's Favorite Things" for 2019, the Bartesian mixes drinks with the touch of a button. Simply fill the canisters with base spirits, choose a cocktail capsule, and the machine does the rest. Now you can mix a margarita, whiskey sour, cosmopolitan, and other favorites as easily as you brew a cup of coffee. Retails for $349.

 

Smart Refrigerator

Kitchens are often called the "heart of the home," and a new refrigerator from Samsung aims to be the hub. The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator helps busy families stay organized. Grocery shopping becomes a breeze with built-in cameras that allow owners to peek inside their fridge from anywhere. The interactive touchscreen displays pictures, notes, and reminders for family members. And the integrated SmartThings app enables users to control smart devices and appliances from a central point. Base model starts at $3,099.

 

 

BEDROOM

Almost nothing beats a good night's sleep. Help your loved ones wake up refreshed with these smart devices for the bedroom.

 

Baby Sleep Soother

As any parent knows, when your baby isn't getting sleep, neither are you. Help everyone in the family catch some z's with a Bubzi Co Soothing Owl. This cuddly creature plays lullabies while projecting a starry scene on the bedroom wall to calm young children and help them drift off to sleep. And for every purchase, Bubzi Co makes a donation to Postpartum Support International. Retails for $30.95.

 

Sunrise Alarm Clock

Know someone who hates getting up in the morning? Alarm clocks that utilize light instead of a noisy alarm can provide a more peaceful transition in and out of sleep. The Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light includes customizable sunrise and sunset simulation, guided breathing exercises, and sensors that track room conditions, like temperature, humidity, noise, and light. Retails for $199.95.

 

Smart Thermostat

Temperature fluctuations during the night can disrupt sleep. The Nest Learning Thermostat uses smart technology to track a user's preferences and build a schedule around them. Homeowners can place one of its integrated sensors in their bedroom to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the night. And Nest thermostats cut energy consumption, so they'll rest easier knowing they're saving the planet and money on utility bills . Retails for $249.

 

 

BATHROOM

Bathrooms don't have to be boring. Technology can add flair to the daily routine.

 

Waterproof Speaker

Music enthusiasts and podcast fans will enjoy streaming their favorites in the shower with a wireless waterproof speaker. The Ultimate Ears Wonderboom 2 is a mid-priced and versatile option that can go from the bath to the beach. It packs an impressive 13-hour battery life in a small, portable case that's waterproof, dust-proof, and floatable. Retails for $99.99.

 

Digital Smart Scale

A scale isn't an appropriate gift for everyone, but diet and fitness enthusiasts may appreciate the high-tech features available with the Withings Body+. It tracks weight, body water, and fat, muscle, and bone mass for up to eight users. It can also be set to display local weather and the previous day's step count. Customized pregnancy and baby modes make this a suitable choice for a growing family, as well. Retails for $99.95.

 

Vanity TV Mirror

For a truly luxe bathroom addition, consider an integrated vanity television mirror. The Seura TV Mirror seamlessly incorporates video into a bathroom vanity. It's vanishing glass technology makes it possible to view the television through a mirror. When turned off, the screen completely disappears. Add lighting or a custom frame to complete the look. Starts at $3,099 for a 19" display.

 

 

OUR GIFT TO YOU

Are you considering a permanent technology upgrade for your own home? Give us a call first! Buyer expectations and preferences vary depending on price point, architectural style, and neighborhood. We can help you determine how the enhancement will impact the value of your home before you make the investment.

June
24

Top 6 Home Organization Upgrades that "Spark Joy" for Buyers

Thanks to Marie Kondo and her hit Netflix series "Tidying Up," home organization is a hot topic right now. Marie encourages her viewers to minimize their possessions and keep only those items that "spark joy."

With spring in full bloom, now is the perfect time to do some spring cleaning and add organizational systems to your own home. Not only will you clear out clutter, your efforts can actually increase the value of your home.

Ready to give it a try? Here are six home organization ideas that will "spark joy" for you and your property value.
 

Boost Bathroom Storage Capacity

When was the last time you cleaned out your bathroom cupboards? If it's been awhile, remove everything and take a look at each item. Toss any old or expired products—keep only what you actually use.

If your vanity has drawers, add drawer organizers, so you have a dedicated space for smaller items, like makeup and jewelry. For deep cabinets, install roll-out shelves or baskets to maximize the use of space.

And don't forget about the walls! Mount open shelves to store towels. If you're short on storage space, a cabinet over the toilet can offer additional room for supplies. These inexpensive additions can make your morning routine a little easier while giving your bathroom a more custom feel. And on average, minor bathroom remodeling projects like these see a 102% return at resale.1


Upgrade Your Laundry Room

Sort through the items in your laundry room and throw away or donate anything you no longer need or use. If you've been holding onto a collection of old washcloths and single socks, it's time to say goodbye. Then give your laundry room an upgrade with some customized organizational features.

A mix of open cubbies and cabinets with doors will give you plenty of options for storing detergents and supplies. If you have space, a divided hamper or set of laundry baskets can provide a place to sort your clothes before washing. Install a hanging rod or drying rack for delicates and a flat work surface for ironing and folding clothes. With a few simple tweaks, you can turn this chore into a score!


Fully Utilize Your Basement or Attic

Basements and attics can easily become a dumping ground for clutter. If that's the case in your home, you know what to do!

Once you've conducted a thorough clean out, think about how you can better utilize the space to meet your family's needs. Install cabinets and a table so you can use the area as a craft room. Or you could turn it into a game room with a media center and ping-pong table. Investing in your basement will not only add function for your family, but also the average basement remodel can see up to a 70% return on investment when it's time to sell.2

If you have an attic, consider adding a cedar closet to store your off-season clothing. The cedar lining will keep your clothes free from moths and smelling fresh year round.3 Turning your attic into a more usable space will pay off down the road, too. A finished attic sees an estimated 60% return on investment.2
 

Customize Your Closets

Cleaning out the closet is a chore most of us dread, but by now, you're a pro! Get rid the clothes and shoes that don't fit you, are uncomfortable to wear, or that no longer "spark joy."

Then it's organizing time. So where do you start? You'll want to create a designated space for each type of clothing: high hanging rods for dresses and long jackets, lower rods for skirts and shirts, and shelves for folded items like jeans. And accessories need a place to go, too. Add racks for your shoes, drawers for jewelry, hooks for hats, and shelves or racks for handbags.

A well-equipped closet can be a major draw for buyers—the average return on a closet remodel is 57%.4 But more importantly, it'll improve your day-to-day life. Surveyed homeowners gave their closet remodel a "Joy Score" of 10 out of 10, higher than kitchen or bath upgrades.5


Install Built-in Bookcases and Cabinets

Built-in furniture adds functionality and storage to a room while giving your home a high-end look. Built-in bookcases can turn an empty room into an office. Custom cabinets can be used in a living room to display media equipment while providing hidden storage for DVDs, board games, and family albums.

When designing any built-in feature, remember not to go too custom. A design that only fits your tastes or belongings could turn off future buyers. Instead, select standard sizes and classic finishes to appeal to a broad range of buyers when it comes time to sell.

Equip Your Garage

If you can no longer fit your car in your garage, it may be time for a clean out. Similar to an attic or basement, the garage can quickly become overrun with clutter. A thorough cleaning will help you assess which items are worth keeping.

When adding organizational systems your garage, start with a small rack to store yard tools and larger racks for bikes and sports equipment. Overhead racks are a great place to put seasonal items and bulky luggage. A workbench against a wall lined with pegboard and hooks creates a dedicated space to use and store tools. If you have children or pets, add a cabinet with a lock. This will give you a place to securely store harsh chemicals and sharp tools. With a little effort, you'll be pulling in your car (and buyers) in no time!


SPRING INTO ACTION

If you're searching for service providers to help with your spring cleaning or home organization efforts, let us know! We can connect you with our trusted network of local home improvement professionals. We can also help you determine which organizational upgrades will add the most value to your home. Call us today, and let us know how we can help!

Sources:

  1. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/design/real-estate/top-home-updates-that-pay-off-pictures
  2. Nationwide -
    https://blog.nationwide.com/valuable-home-improvements/
  3. HGTV -
    https://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/maximum-home-value-storage-projects--attic
  4. The Closet Doctor - https://www.closet-doctor.com/news/what-is-the-return-on-investment-on-closet-organizers
  5. NAR Remodeling Impact Survey -
    https://www.nar.realtor/sites/default/files/documents/2017-remodeling-impact-09-28-2017.pdf
March
18

What's Your Home Actually Worth?

It's easy to look up how much money you have in your savings account or the real-time value of your stock investments. But determining the dollar value of a home is trickier.

 

As a seller, knowing your home's worth helps you price it correctly when you put it up for sale. If you price it too high, it may sit on the market. But price it too low and you may be losing out on a good chunk of money (nobody wants that!). For buyers, it's important to know a home's worth before you make an offer. You want your offer to be competitive, but you don't want to overpay for the property.

 

Even if you're not a buyer or seller right now, as a current homeowner you might just be curious about the value of your home. Keeping track of your home's worth year over year helps you understand the trends in your market. So when you are ready to sell, you can take advantage of a good window of opportunity.

 

The good news is, a trained real estate agent—who understands the nuances of your particular neighborhood—can determine the true market value of your property … and at no cost to you!

 

 

THE THREE TYPES OF HOME VALUES

 

When you start the process of buying or selling a home, you'll frequently hear the words appraised value, assessed value, and true market value. It's important to know the difference between each one so you can make better, informed decisions.

 

Appraised Value

A professional appraiser is in charge of determining the appraised value of a home. These appraisals are typically required by a lender when a buyer is financing the property. And while the lender is the one requiring this information, the appraiser does not work for the lender.1 Your appraiser should be an objective, licensed professional who doesn't have allegiance to the buyer, seller, or lender—no matter who is paying their fee.

 

The number the appraiser comes up with (the appraised value) assures the lender that the buyer is not overpaying for the property. For example, imagine a seller lists a home for $400,000. They reach a deal with the buyer to sell the home for $375,000. However, if an appraiser evaluates the property and determines that the appraised value is actually $325,000, then the lender will not lend for an amount higher than that appraised value of $325,000.2

 

When figuring out this number, an appraiser will compare the property to similar homes in your neighborhood, and they'll evaluate factors such as location, square footage, appliances, upgrades, improvements, and the interior and exterior of the home. 

 

Assessed Value

The assessed value of a home is determined by your local municipal property assessor. This value matters when your county calculates property taxes each year. The lower your assessed value, the less property tax you'll pay.3

 

To come up with this value, your assessor will evaluate what comparable homes in the neighborhood have sold for, the size of your home, age, overall condition, and any improvements or upgrades that have been made. However, most assessors don't have full access to your home, so their information is limited.

 

Assessments are done annually to determine how much property tax you owe. Many counties use a multiplier (typically between 60%-80%) to calculate the final assessed value. So, if the assessor determines that the value of the home is $300,000, but the county uses a 70% multiplier, the assessed value of the home would be $210,000 for tax purposes.4

 

If your assessed value isn't as high as you envisioned, don't sweat it. Many homeowners appeal their assessment in favor of a lower valuation so that they can save money on property taxes. If you're interested in appealing your property tax assessment, let us know. We offer complimentary assistance and would be happy to help you build your case.

 

True Market Value

True market value is established by your real estate agent. It basically refers to the value that a buyer is willing to pay for the property. A good real estate agent is an expert in determining true market value because they have hands-on experience buying and selling properties. They understand the mindsets of buyers in your market and know what they'll pay for a desirable house, townhouse, or condo.

 

As a seller, knowing your true market value is important because it helps you choose how much to list your property for. It can also help you decide if you want to make any improvements to your home before putting it on the market. Your agent can help you figure out which updates and upgrades will have the biggest impact on your true market value.

 

 

WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH ONLINE CALCULATORS?

 

When figuring out your home's value, you might be tempted to see what popular real estate sites like Zillow, Redfin, and Trulia have to say. When you use an online calculator to determine your home's value on these sites, it is just an estimate. It's not an actual appraisal or the "true market value." These sites all have their own algorithms for coming up with their estimates. For example, Zillow comes up with their "Zestimates" by calculating "public and user-submitted data, taking into account special features, location, and market conditions." 5

 

These online estimates can be a great starting point for opening up the conversation with your real estate agent about your home's worth. But even Zillow recommends that you use a real estate agent for coming up with the actual market value of your home. The site says that once you get your "Zestimate," you should still get "a comparative market analysis from a real estate agent."

 

Having an agent involved in this process is essential because they understand the market better than a computer ever could. They're showing property in your city every single day, and they know the particular preferences of buyers and sellers in the area. Young professionals, large families, empty nesters, and other groups are all looking for different things in a home. A local agent has most likely worked with all of them, so they understand what every segment in your market is specifically looking for.

 

 

HOW AN AGENT FINDS YOUR HOME'S TRUE MARKET VALUE

 

So, how does an actual real estate agent determine true market value? They'll start by doing a comparative market analysis (CMA). This means they'll compare your home's features to similar properties in your area. For the CMA, the agent looks at the below factors to influence their assessment of your home's worth:6

 

  • Neighborhood sales - Your agent will look at similar, recently sold homes in your neighborhood to see what they sold for and what they have in common with your house.
  • The exterior - What does your home look like from the outside? Your agent will factor in curb appeal, the style of the house, the front and backyard, and anything else that impacts how the house looks to everyone walking and driving by.
  • The interior - This is everything inside the walls of the house. Square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, appliances, and more all influence the overall market value.
  • Age of the home - Whether you have a newer or older home affects the number your agent comes up with as part of their assessment.
  • Style of the home - The style of your home is important because buyers in different markets have different tastes. If buyers prefer ranch-style homes and you have one, then your home may sell for a premium (aka more money!).
  • Market trends - Because a local agent has so much experience in your market, they have their finger on the pulse of your area's trends and know what buyers are willing to pay for a property like yours.
  • Location, location, location - This one's probably the most obvious. Your agent will think about how popular the area is, how safe it is, and what schools are like.

 

A computer algorithm simply can't take all of these factors into account when calculating the value of your home. The reality is, nothing beats the accuracy of a real estate agent or professional appraiser when it comes to determining a home's true market value.

 

 

YOUR AGENT IS THERE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

 

Determining a home's true market value is a real estate agent's forte. If you're a seller, your agent will help you find your home's market value so you can list it at the right price.

 

For buyers, your agent will help you determine the value so you can come up with a fair offer. Your agent can also set up a personalized home search on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) for you so you'll receive emails of listings that meet your criteria. This will help you see what's out there in your city and how properties are being priced.

 

Get a Complimentary Report With Your Home's True Market Value

Curious about your home's true market value? Call us to request a free, no-obligation Comparative Market Analysis to find out exactly how much your home is worth!

 

 

Sources:

 

  1. Chicago Tribune -

https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/chi-ugc-article-what-is-the-difference-between-market-value-a-2013-09-30-story.html

  1. SFGATE -

https://homeguides.sfgate.com/market-value-vs-appraised-value-1206.html

  1. ValuePenguin -

https://www.valuepenguin.com/mortgages/what-is-the-assessed-value-of-a-house

  1. Movoto -

https://www.movoto.com/blog/homeownership/assessed-value-vs-market-value/

  1. Zillow -

https://www.zillow.com/how-much-is-my-home-worth/

  1. com -

https://www.realtor.com/advice/sell/assessed-value-vs-market-value-difference/

DeltaNet - ToolkitCMA - NEOHREX
Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 02/07/2023. The listing information on this page last changed on 02/07/2023. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of MLS NOW (last updated Tue 02/07/2023 12:17:19 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than DeHOFF REALTORS may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved.

NEOHREX Logo
Listing data compilation and photo(s) © 2023 - Multiple Listing Service, Inc. – All Rights Reserved
The photos may be altered, edited, enhanced or virtually staged.
--

Privacy Policy / DMCA Notice / ADA Accessibility

Login to My Homefinder

Login to My Homefinder