9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New

 

Whether you are planning on selling your home, looking to buy an older house or are looking for a few ways to give new life to your home, here are 9 easy tips on how to give your house fresh facelift.

 

 

1. Clean or Replace Carpetsvaccuum
Transform the room by making the space feel fresh. Deep cleaning vacuums can help remove odors and make your carpet feel almost new. If you want to take on a DIY project, you could try replacing your carpet with new carpet or even hardwood flooring.

 

 

2. Make it Cohesive
As the years go by, it is easy to lose focus or forget about making a room/entire house flow nicely together. An update here and an update there can leave the home in a state of mis-matched chaos. You should determine whether you want rooms to be the same throughout or to each have their own uniqueness.

 

outlet

 

3. Update Outlets, Light Switches & Plates
Small changes such as updating outlets, light switches and plates make a significant difference. Some may have yellowed, been painted over, various shapes & styles through the years. Updating plates can be simple but updating outlets and light switches can be tricky. Therefore, if you are not experienced hire a licensed electrician or find online tutorials to guide you through the process. While you are at it, you should also update old alarms, thermostats and smoke detectors.

 

4. Repair Walls
If your house has numerous holes in the walls due to hanging up pictures/mirrors, etc.., and/or have apparent DIY patching, you should consider getting your walls professionally repaired. You could even have your painters fix blemishes and fill the nail holes. Repairing your walls will make them look brand new!

how-to-add-light-to-a-room

 

 

5. Add Light
There are numerous ways to add light to your home beyond light fixtures. You could replace old blinds. Rethink the idea of curtains by making a curtain rod extend past the width of the window, making the window appear larger and not blocking any light. You should also consider adding or replacing light fixtures. Change out light bulbs to newer bulbs that give off a higher wattage and offer a different effect; soft or white.

 

6. Paint
Even though this is an obvious answer, changing the color or even adding a fresh coat of the same color can make a major difference. A current and cohesive paint palette brings the home into the present.

 

7. Remove Dated Fixtures
Updating lights and hardware are easy ways to freshen up your home.

 

8. New Doors/Door Frames
Replace your older doors with newer models. Sometimes older doors no longer fit in the door frame and may not lock correctly. Also adding a new front door will help with curb appeal and can even brighten up your foyer.

hardwood floors

 

 

9. Refinish Hardwood
If your hardwood floors are scratched up and have lost their shine you should consider refinishing your hardwood floors. Choose an appropriate stain and give your floors a makeover. This can either be a DIY project or you can hire a professional.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are considering selling, purchasing or even staying put in your current house and want to take on a new project such as updating an older home contact your local Homesale Agent today.

9 Ways to Make an Old Home Feel New

20 Moving Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

Moving from one house to another can be stressful and exciting all at the same time. Staying organized, making lists, and planning ahead make the whole process a lot easier, but so does having a few handy packing tips and tricks up your sleeve!

 

move

1. Make a Packing Supplies Basket

 

Put together all of the things you need for packing in a basket so you aren’t constantly trying to remember where you put the tape. This way you can carry it around with you and have everything at your fingertips. You might want to include: packaging tape, labels, scissors, Sharpies, a screw driver, baggies, and a utility knife.


Source: A Bowl Full Of Lemons

 

2. Make your last Grocery Trip Two Weeks Prior to Moving

The more food you end up using before moving, the less you’ll have to throw out.

 

mirrora   

    3. Masking Tape on Mirrors

Use masking tape to place a large X on your mirrors and glass frames. It won’t prevent it from breaking, but it will absorb shock and keep the glass in the frame in the case that it is dropped or shuffled in the moving truck.

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

box handles

4. DIY Box Handles

Make picking up and lifting heavy boxes a little easier by cutting handholds in two sides of the box with a utility knife! Leave the top flaps of your triangular cut-outs attached and simply fold them in

 

 

 

 

Source: Martha Stuart

 

5. Use soft items for Padding & Space Fillers

Place stuffed animals, pillows, sheets, blankets, and other soft items in trash bags and use them as padding next to fragile items in the moving truck. It also helps fill up irregular empty space in the truck so your belongings won’t shift around during the move.

 

6. Defrost Your Refrigerator

Plan ahead! Don’t forget to defrost, towel dry, and clean your refrigerator 24-48 hours before moving day. This will help prevent a stinky, wet mess.

 

7. Take a Photo of Your Cords

Before you disconnect them to be boxed up, take a quick snapshot of the cords on the back of your television and other electronics so that you can remember where they all go!

 

8. Pack Plates Vertically

platesSource: apartmenttherapy.com

Pack vertically like records. When packing vertically, don’t forget to create a barrier between each plate. You could place newspaper or even a foam plate in between to protect your delicate glass and ceramic plates. Place one in-between each place to prevent them from chipping or breaking.

 

9. Press n’ Seal Will Be Your Best Friend

Dresser drawers are like their own moving boxes — this will keep you from having to unpack and re-fold their contents. It’ll also make moving the actual dresser much more manageable. Press’n Seal is also great for keep jewelry displays intact. You can also use plastic wrap to keep items in their place! No sense in emptying your drawers or silverware tray when you can use plastic wrap to keep drawers shut or smaller items in their intended container

plastic bags

 

10. Use Sandwich Bags

Keep sandwich bags handy for holding any small parts of things you have to take apart, like curtain rods or mounted flat-screen TVs. Tape the sandwich bags to the back of the item they correspond to. ALSO: use this method with the cords for your electronics.

 

 

 

11. Rolling Luggage

If you’ve got them, use your rolling luggage bags for really heavy items like books. Now you can avoid the heavy lifting and simply roll the bags onto your moving truck.

 

 

clothesgarbage

12. Put Hanging Clothes in Garbage Bags

Keep them on the hangers while still protected in garbage bags! This saves the hassle of taking them on and off of the hangers. It also keeps your clothes all together in the order you had them hung, less wrinkled, and ready to hang up when you get to your new home. You can also put the bag on the opposite way; hangers go in first. Just poke a hole for your hangers to fit through the bottom of the bag. You can’t fit as many clothes in this way, but they stay in better form, and you can tie the bottom off with the drawstring closure. Label each bag and then you can hang them up where they belong before easily ripping the bag off.

 

 

Source: Wicker House Blog
glassware

 

 

13. Use Wine or Beer Cases to Carefully Store Stemware and Glassware

Visit your local bar, restaurant, or winery, and you’re bound to come home with several empty wine box cases! The inserts in these boxes are perfect for protecting glass cups, wine glasses, and vases

 

 

14. Enlist in the Color Coding System

Pick a color code for each room and label that room’s boxes accordingly. Label the door of each room with the corresponding sticker/tape so that movers know where to place the boxes.

 

15. Read the Fine Print 

If you hire movers make sure you read the fine print and find out if there are any weird rules. For instance, some movers will only move things in boxes, not garbage bags. Which means you’ll be paying them extra for unnecessary boxes at a marked-up price.

 

16. Change Your Address

Two weeks prior to moving make sure you change your address. This might seem like a no-brainer for important things like utilities and cable but don’t sweat the small stuff. You will want to change the address on your credit cards, bank account, magazine subscriptions, and all other mail.

 

17. Utilize Everything!

Think outside of the box! Use your pot holders to safely hold knives, store socks inside of shoes and boots, use the inside of your washer and dryer for storage — anything you can think of to fill up empty space. This will save much needed room on the truck.

 

18. Pack The Truck Like An Expert

mvoeSource: My Move

****For those who are moving themselves and not a moving company here is a simple way to pack the truck. Depending on the items you are moving, and how much, there are different techniques to packing a moving truck, but there are also the basics that will help you pack fast and efficiently.

 

19. Pack A First-Night Box

Chances are, you’re not going to be able to unpack and organize everything the first day of your move. You will want your essentials within easy access. Pack a labeled box/bag with all of your first-night essentials and load it into your own vehicle.

*You might want to include: toilet paper, toiletries, medications, snacks, basic cleaning supplies, COFFEE and coffee maker, a first-aid kit, a utility knife, pet supplies, a night light for the kids, bedding, disposable plates, cups, and utensils.

It is also a good idea for each member of the family to pack a small bag that contains personal belongings that they might need for the first couple of days. Just pack as if you’re going on a short trip! This way everyone has a change of clothes and anything else they might need.

 

And lastly……….

 

20. Have A Sense Of Humor

Relax! You’ll get there eventually. Moving day is probably the easiest excuse to get frustrated. Remind yourself before the day starts that everything will be ok.

 

A little planning will help you and your family to navigate the thrills and frustrations of moving and get you well on your way to having fun and making memories in your new home!

 

Relocating to Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our relocation services to help you with all your needs in the search of a new home.

 

 

 

20 Moving Tips That Will Make Your Life Easier

Home Ownership Matters

July 2013_Ecard

Home ownership does matter. It has a significant impact on net worth, educational achievement, civic participation, health, and overall quality of life. Plus, it helps create jobs, lots of them, right in your community. Did you know that for every two homes sold in the U.S., one job is created?

A few more perks of home ownership:

Increased Equity
As you pay down your mortgage, you own more of an increasingly valuable property. Sometimes you can borrow against this equity for home improvements or other investments.

Appreciating Investment
The real estate market does fluctuate, but over time the value of your property could appreciate.

Tax Benefits
Interest and closing costs are big expenses. However, when you file your taxes, you may be entitled to deductions based on points and interest paid during the year. This can be a very significant benefit especially in the early years of ownership when you are paying more interest.

Successful Children
Studies show that children of homeowners are more likely to graduate from high school and college, have better overall grades, and fewer behavior problems. They are likely to someday become homeowners as well.

Stronger Communities
Homeowners are more likely to maintain their homes, become involved in solving local problems, be part of community groups, are more likely to vote, and will remain in their homes 4 times longer if they own it.

Stronger Families
Homeowners are more likely to attend church, belong to parent-teacher groups, read local newspapers, and have less alcohol and substance abuse problems.

Stability, freedom, privacy
Owning a home has a significant impact on overall quality of life, including health, happiness, and security. Homeowners tend to have a greater sense of control over their lives.

Home Ownership Matters

Q1 Consumer Outlook Survey (Infographic)

Consumer confidence in real estate and home prices reaches a year-long high. Buyers and sellers are motivated entering the spring buying season.

q1-info-graphic2013

Want more information on today’s real estate market? Contact a Prudential Homesale Real Estate Agent today.

Q1 Consumer Outlook Survey (Infographic)

Buying vs. Building

 

buyingvsbuildingNumerous decisions are involved in the purchase of a home.  The most important decision, which will impact the rest of the process, is whether to build your own home or buy an existing home.  Each strategy has its own advantages as well as disadvantages.  Owning a home is a great experience, but can be a stressful event; be prepared for what lies ahead of you.

Buying

vs.

Building

Pros

  • If your reasonable offer is accepted, you could live there within 30-45 days.

 

  • Tremendous sentimental value and personal pride in making it “your home”.
  • Usually not part of a Homeowner’s Association, giving you more personal freedom and more choices.

 

  • Personalize everything from the floor plan, to carpets, to fixtures, to appliances, paint colors, etc.
  • Already in an established area – It’s easier to consider the character of the home and the area it is located in.
  • Energy Efficient – Better, current building standards, better materials, and the most efficient appliances and systems; very important with the continually rising energy costs!

 

  • Better value – Usually able to negotiate a better price on the home.  Appliances and fixtures typically included, desired upgrades can be negotiated into the purchase.
  • Deferred maintenance – You know moving in that you will not need to replace the roof or any larger systems for many years.  Unforeseen issues should be covered by a warranty.

 

  • Less stress – Much less to consider during the buying process, less decisions to be made and/or negotiated.  Don’t forget to consider home inspections!
  • Many new communities offer other incentives such as recreational facilities, community maintenance, and locations closer to new stores, etc.

 

  • Usually have complete and mature landscaping. 
  • Latest technology built-in, from wiring to high speed internet, to the latest architectural trends, etc.

Buying

vs.

Building

Cons

  • Older floor plans do not have the same good traffic flow and open feeling that most new homes possess.
  • Usually takes 6-7 months to build, but you may want to count on another 1-2 months for unforeseen issues that may arise; bad weather, material defects, builder’s schedule.

 

  • Most likely will not have everything you want.  You will have to be willing to make some compromises on your list of wants/needs.
  • New construction typically has higher costs and most initial estimates are not accurate.  A lot can change during the building process.
  • Immediate maintenance or renovations may be necessary to personalize the home or even make it livable.
  • Might have to live with the noise and construction vehicle traffic if you are located in a new community; it could go on for months.
  • Less energy efficient!  Might also need updates on wiring and other major systems depending on the age of the home.

There is no wrong or right choice; only your personal preference.  The best things you can do are to plan ahead; review the pros and cons of each choice thoroughly; determine your budget and stick to it; consider job security and long-term plans for being in the area; and last, but not least, don’t forget about maintaining your own sanity!

 

Let us help you follow the path that best suits you!

Buying vs. Building

Oh, the Joys of Packing

Finding the home of your dreams is fun and exciting. Preparing to leave the old one can be a bigger task then expected. Starting weeks ahead of the move and being organized is the key. Here are some ideas to help you prepare and simplify the process.

Items you may need:

  • Boxes
  • Bubble Wrap
  • Packaging Tape
  • Markers
  • Moving Company (or friends and family)

Purge – Packing items you don’t need is a big waste of time, box space, and moving manpower. Take the time to go through drawers, cabinets, closets and be honest with yourself about what you need and no longer use. If it is something you haven’t worn in the past 12 months it should go! Some items could be sold, some trashed, and others donated to your local Goodwill or shelter.

Clean – Once you have eliminated the items you no longer need, give everything in the house a good dusting. You will be very grateful to have clean items to unpack after a long day of moving. This is one step that is better to do now, rather than later!

Create a system – Devise a packing plan and schedule. If time allows, plan on packing one room every 2-3 days. If you are in a time crunch, order some pizza and host a packing party for your friends. Start by packing the items you use most infrequently. Be sure that each box is sealed tight with packaging tape and clearly labeled. Always label the box on more than one side so finding its new location will be easy!

Packing pointers – Even if you’re not moving far, wrap delicate items in bubble wrap and label as fragile. Fill each box to the top to avoid having it smashed during transit, but don’t over-pack. Over-packing a box can put your items at risk of being damaged. If it is an option, you may want to keep valuable, irreplaceable items with you rather than the movers. Also create a plan on how to move un-packable items, such as pets, plants, etc.

Use it or lose it – Start using the items you can’t or won’t want to pack, like frozen and perishable foods.

Not to be forgotten – Aside from the physical work involved in preparing for a move, there are other important tasks that require your attention prior to moving day. File a change of address form with the postal service, forward medical records and children’s school records, arrange time off work to move, clean out safe deposit box, refill necessary prescriptions and consider a tune up on your car, especially if you will be driving a long distance for the move. The last thing you need is a roadside break-down!

On your way out the door – Keep a box or two for the very last day. As you go through your home one more time, you are bound to find a few missed items and items that you used up to moving day. Pack these remaining things to take along with you or ship to your new home.

A little planning will help you and your family to navigate the thrills and frustrations of moving and get you well on your way to having fun and making memories in your new home!

 

Relocating to Maryland or Pennsylvania? Take a look at our relocation services to help you with all your needs in the search of a new home.

Oh, the Joys of Packing

PrudentialHomesale.com’s New Mobile Search

Today’s technology has allowed us to gather information faster and easier than ever before!  With our new mobile search, you will have on-the-go access to homes for sale, including detailed property information and multiple photos.  Does your agent have an agent website?  Connect to YOUR agent on the spot!  Personal contact has never been more convenient than with our new live chat feature!  Have all the details you want, when you want them…because finding your new home IS that important!

 

 

Mobile is more than convenient access. Mobile is simple, fast, personal communication. Finding a home is much more than just a large investment, mobile has helped changed the way consumers find real estate. Today, Prudential Homesale’s mobile website is helping people find real estate from any location. Visit http://www.prudentialhomesale.com from your mobile phone to try it for yourself.
PrudentialHomesale.com’s New Mobile Search