4 Things To Do Today To Prepare Your Home To Sell

welcome-to-our-home-1205888_640Are you ready to sell your home? As you move forward in getting your home on the market, take a moment to spruce up your home to help make it not only look better to potential home buyers, but to boost the price.

While you’re looking around your home for little projects to boost the resale value, here are 5 easy things you can do to make your home look its best.

  1. Give the front door a fresh coat of paint. When it comes to curb appeal, give your front door a splash of color to make it pop. Plus, a fresh coat of paint makes your home look well kept and will appeal to potential buyers.
  1. Maintain a healthy lawn. Another simple thing you can do to make sure your home is appealing to buyers to to keep your lawn looking its best. Invest some time into making your lawn is properly aerated, mowed, and watered. If you’re grass is brown or has big gaps missing, not only does it make your home look unattractive but it turns buyers away.
  1. Install safety lights around your property. Not only are floodlights or landscape lighting a great safety feature around your home, it enhances the beauty of your home. Add lighting around certain areas of your home to accent focal points and other areas of your home you want to highlight.
  1. Replace any broken items around your home. If you have any broken screens, shutters, or gutters around your home, now is the time to get them repaired. Not only does this take away from your home’s appeal, but broken home features can turn potential buyers away.

If you’re ready to sell, give us a call today. We are here to help and ensure you get the best price out of your home.

6 Must Do’s To Save Money At The Store

We all want to save money. For some, part of the shopping experience is coupon clippings and hunting down the best deals, but what about the rest of us? If you don’t have time to seek out deals and find yourself forgetting those few coupons you did clip, here are 6 tips to help to save some money. shopping-1232944_640

  1. List in hand. One way to save yourself some money is to go in with a list in your hand. By going in with a list, knowing what you need, will save you money and not pick up food and other items you don’t really need. Another tip to add, never go into the store hungry. If you’re starving, you’re more likely to buy additional items that can add up and cost you a lot more money.
  1. Watch the scanner. When checking out, pay attention to the store register. In some cases, the store register isn’t current with sale prices which means you’re paying full price for something you thought was on sale. Also, take a moment each month to check your bank statement to ensure you haven’t been charge for something you didn’t buy.
  1. Avoid pre-made foods. We’ve all seen those pre-made foods in the deli and, you may have thought how great they look. However, no matter how tasty they look (or the ease of them), their costing you a lot of money. Instead, my the ingredients and make the dish yourself at a fraction of the cost. Not only will  this save you some money but it’ll be fresh and taste better.
  1. Go shopping alone. Sure, it’s fun to go shopping with your friends, but when it comes it grocery shopping—go alone. According to Time Magazine, around 65% of the items we place in our basket, when shopping with a group, is unplanned. That is an 8% increase over shopping alone. So whenever possible, leave your spouse and kids at home.
  1. Don’t buy bottled water. Not only is bottled water bad for the environment, but bottled water is a billion dollar industry (all of which is coming out of your pocket). Huffington Post reports the average 16 oz. bottle of water costs about a $1. If you drink the recommended amount (4 bottles per day), that adds up to $120 per month. Just think what you can do with that extra money. Instead, skip the water bottles and drink free water from your tap.
  1. Skip the herbs. Instead of buying bundles of herbs (which can cost $2 or more) grow your own herbs. Keep them in your kitchen or some place you can get to them easily  to use while you’re cooking. In the long run, the $5 cost of a fresh herb will save you money.

Have something to add to the list? Tell us about it below in the comments or on Facebook. We always love to hear from you.

Boost Your Creativity Through Gardening

The weather slowly warming up and I don’t know about you, but I’m getting eager to get outside in my garden. Although it’s still too early to start planting anything, it’s nice to know spring is around the corner and it’s only a matter of time we can get outside a plant. sun-741813_640

However, as you’re preparing and planning your garden for the future months, did you know there are health benefits associated with getting your hands dirty?

When working with your hands, you reduce stress in your life (that’s why adult coloring books have become so popular). While you’re working your garden, you can let your worries go and find peace and relaxation in the simple task of weeding.

Another excellent aspect of working in your garden is that it boosts creativity. When you’re out in nature you can unplug for technology, leave your phone behind, and reconnect with yourself and let your creativity flow. What can you come up with while you’re daydreaming? Why not grab the kids or grandkids and have them help. Let them use their imaginations and see what they come up. Another fun idea? When is the last time you’ve looked up at the clouds to see the pictures they’ve created?

Use what you produce in your garden as a way to give back to the community. For those living in an urban area, where it’s impossible to have your own garden, find a community garden you can volunteer at and enjoy the fruits of your labor. If you’re able to have your own garden, give some of your excess fruits and vegetables to neighbors and friends? If you haven’t had a chance to meet your neighbors. or haven’t seen them in a while, this gives you the perfect opportunity to reconnect.

What do you love most about the spring months? What are you looking forward to most? Tell us your thoughts and ideas below or on Facebook.

Win At Your Home Projects With These 3 Tips

tools-864983_640The weather is warming up (at least for now) and, with the warmer temperatures, now is the time to get outside and work on some of the projects you’ve been meaning to do. Still too cold outside for you or have more indoor projects you want to complete, now is the time for that too—before spring fever hits.

As you begin to plan for you new project. use this time to prioritize your to-do list. The more prepared you are going in, the more likely you are to stick to you plan and complete your project.

The next thing you’ll want to do is set a budget. By going in with a budget, along with a plan of action, you can prepare for any unexpected surprises or lack of funds. Also, by taking some time to get things in order, you’re less likely to get sidetracked or run into other problems that might deter you from finishing your home project.

Another excellent tool to help you stick to your project is to set specific deadlines and goals via a calendar. While you set your deadlines, this will give you a better idea if you’re on track with completing your project on time or if you need to make adjustments to ensure you finish.

If you’re looking to sell, either now or in the near future, taking time to make some repairs on your home can help to increase your home value. Through taking time to improve your curb appeal your home will sell quicker and be more appealing to potential home buyers.

Have questions or what to learn more about what you can do to sell your home, give us a call. We are here to help you navigate the home buying/selling process.

Keep Your Home Warm This Winter With These Tips

feet-932346_640A new month, a new year. Can you believe 2015 is over? As we settle into the winter months, it’s even more important to keep your furnace working effectively. This winter, keep your home warm with these tips.

Clean or replace your filter often. One of the simplest, and most effective, ways of keeping your furnace working properly. Filters should be replaced or cleaned about every 3 months. If you haven’t cleaned or replaced your filter, start the New Year off right by getting it done today. You’ll be grateful you did.

Utilize the sun. During the day, use the warmth of the sun by opening your curtains (in your south-facing windows) to allow the sunlight to naturally heat your home. At night, use insulated drapes or shades to keep the cold drafts out and reduce the heat from leaving your home.

Seal the air leaks. Check out the gaps around pipes, chimneys, insulated ceilings, and any unfinished space and seal them up to protect against air leaks. Add caulk or weatherstripping seals around doors and windows to keep the chill out.

The winter can be hard months, especially when you’re struggling to keep the cold out of your home. Take some time to properly insulate your home and replace your filter. Each little thing you do to seal the air leaks around your home can make these a little less colder.

3 Things to Consider When Buying Your First Home

There can be a lot of stress when it comes to buying your first home. How do you choose? Are you making the right decision? Do you want to be tied down in one location for a while? What if you lose your job? The questions are endless and terms you need to know. As you move forward with buying your first home, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  1. Keep in mind the costs associated with owning a home. Many first time homebuyers enter in to buying a home without being prepared for the unknown expenses that come up after the contract is signed. Some of the expenses include: taxes, insurance. association fees, home maintenance, utilities, and minor or major repairs. When preparing to buy your first home, talk with your real estate agent about the costs and have them ask the seller’s agent to provide you with the monthly utility costs or you can call the utility companies for an estimate.
  1. dollar-837378_640Save for your down payment. In most situations. it is recommended you have 20% of your target purchase available for a down payment. If you don’t have the 20% for a down payment, it won’t (usually) be a problem. There are loans available that offer various credit levels and interest levels. Talk with your loan officer or mortgage lender to see which option works best for you.
  1. Hire a local agent. When searching for your dream home, you’ll want to hire a local agent to help you. Before hiring someone to assist you in your search, take some time to find an agent who really knows the area. Also, ask them how many homes they’ve helped buyers purchase, their experience, and for references. Listing agents should also have a good understanding of the fair market value for the homes around the area you’re interested in.

Buying a home is a big decision so take some time to do your due diligence. The more you know when going into the home buying process, the more confident you’ll be. We’re here to help  you find your dream home. Give us a call today and find out what we can do for you.

Top Ski and Snowboarding Locations in Utah

Utah is famous for it’s snow. Which is no surprise—even our license plates say “Best Snow On Earth”—and people travel from all over the world to enjoy our snow. With so many ski and snowboard resorts around here, there are so many excellent resorts to explore depending on what exactly you’re looking for.cross-country-691295_640

To help you decide which resort has the best of what you’re looking for, here are the top resorts according to PowderHounds.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Snow

Other Awards

Did we miss something or do you have a resort to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

Quick Ways to Save Money During The Holidays

christmas-1410967135CAlThe holidays are a wonderful, and special, time of the year. However, even with all the festivities and cheer, it is easy to get stressed out. For many, the stress is due to finances. This year, enjoy more of the holiday’s and save some money with these tips and tricks.

Before starting out in your holiday shopping, take a moment to make a plan. This is where you set a budget (forget about the complicated spreadsheets) and just map out the dollar amount you have to spend and how much you’d like to spend on each person on your list. By having a set dollar amount, you’re less likely to overspend.

Another thing you can do is cut back on unnecessary spending, such as going out to eat (as often), ordering water instead of soda at a restaurant, and so on. Brainstorm and look over your expenses, where can you cut back to use towards gifts instead?

The holiday’s can be a stressful time for people too because of all the shopping and gifts they feel they have to buy. However, look over who you have to buy for and decide where you can trim your list.

There are various ways to save money during this time of year. The thing to remember as you start your shopping is to be creative, think outside the box, and have some fun. Isn’t that the true meaning of Christmas anyway?

Improve Your Home for The Winter In 4 Easy Steps

smaller white tableIt’s beginning to look a lot like…

Can you believe it is that time of year again? The winter months are around the corner, and with the snow flurries getting ready to start flying, now is the time to start taking the steps to get your home ready for the cold.

Here are 4 things you can do today to improve your home:

Utilize curtains to minimize drafts. Curtains are an excellent resource to use to help eliminate drafts and add some extra warmth to your home. When you choose curtains for your home, pick something made of insulated material or have a cotton flannel backside for optimal use. Leave your curtains (especially those on the side that gets the morning sun) open during the day to allow the sunlight to enter and help warm your home and reduce energy costs.

Enhance the lighting. Add uplights and other quality light bulbs around your home for maximum light. This can be extremely helpful during those gray, dreary days when you want to add some extra glow to your home.

Unclog your gutters. Leaves and other debris can clog your gutters and cause some serious problems. Take some time now before the snow starts flying to clean out your gutters and keep your home safe from any potential damage.

Buy a humidifier. With the cold months, heaters are turned on; drying out your skin and making you more susceptible to colds. Humidifiers can help put some moisture back into the dry air. Remember to clean your humidifier often and change out filters to help protect against mold and mildew.

Learn more about what you can do to make your home more cozier for the winter months at Better Homes and Gardens.

How To Make Money On Your Home

In the movie Money Pit, a young couple moves into a home they think is a cute fixer-upper, but come to find out the home is a complete money pit. Have you ever feared that would happen to you when you are looking to buy a home? Avoid buying a money pit with these 3 tips and purchase a home that will make some money. houses-691586_640

  1. Location. If you want your home to appreciate in value, take time to choose the right location, the right neighborhood. Be watchful of neighborhoods that have a lot of For Sale signs tattooing the street. If many people are looking to leave, this is not the neighborhood you want to move into.
  1. Size. The belief “bigger is better” is no longer the mindset of many potential homebuyers these days. Although home sizes are getting bigger, don’t be afraid to go against the society norms and purchase a smaller home. Why? Because with a smaller home will give you more room to build equity.
  1. Condition. Take the time to hire a certified home inspector to check out the home’s condition before you sign the paperwork. As you have the home inspected, some red flags to be aware of are:
  • Foundation problems and noticeable structural problems
  • Prior sinkholes
  • Termite or pest damage
  • Water damage

Although you can have the damages repaired, is it worth the costs in the long run? Certain repairs can get quite expensive so it’s better to keep looking for your dream home.

Read more about what to look for when buying a home that can make you a profit here.