Archive for May, 2012

May 22 2012

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

5 Tips for Preparing your House to Sell – The House Plan Shop

Filed under Selling Your Home

For Sale SignIf you are thinking about putting your house on the market, it is important that you go the extra mile when preparing your house to sell. Your extra efforts up front will increase the positive feedback you receive from potential buyers and hopefully grab the attention of the right buyer. Follow these tips when getting ready to sell your home:

 

  1. Cut the clutter. File/organize bills and important documents in a file cabinet where they are easy find, yet hidden from site. Recycle old newspapers and donate old magazines to a nursing home or doctor’s office. Reduce collections and knick-knacks. While these items might be meaningful to you, they are often seen as clutter by a potential buyer. Display just a few sentimental items or a few pieces from your favorite collection and pack the rest. Also, limit the number of photos you display. Photos of the people who currently live in the home may turn off potential buyers as they formulate an opinion about the type of people who currently live in the home. Display just a few family photos and tuck the rest away until you move into your new home. Clear kitchen and bath counters. Open counters provide a more spacious appearance.
  2. Thoroughly clean the interior. Clean all surfaces including windows and mirrors. Dust and vacuum regularly. Be sure to make all the beds before you leave each day. Make sure there are no dirty dishes on the table or counter or in the sink. Pick up shoes and backpacks that may be lying in the foyer or mud room. Each time you leave your home, be sure to leave it spotless. You never know when the real estate agent will want to show your home to a potential buyer.
  3. Clean out the garage and basement. Many people use the garage and basement for storage, but the site of stacked boxes lining the walls of either space will make both seem small and cramped. Move boxes to the attic or rent a storage locker until your home sells.
  4. Update interior and exterior paint. A fresh coat of paint is a quick way to give your home a fresh look. Be sure to stick with neutral colors.
  5. Tidy up the exterior. Clean up your yard. Mow the grass regularly and dispose of grass clipping and leaves. Pull any weeds in the garden or flower bed. Add fresh mulch to your landscaping. Sweep the driveway, sidewalks, porches and decks regularly. You might even consider power washing decks and sidewalks. Also, clean your siding. Scrubbing with a diluted bleach solution is an easy way to clean siding.

 

Begin be following these tips and you’ll be on your way to getting your house ready to sell. You might also check with your real estate agent for additional tips on preparing to sell your home.

No responses yet

May 09 2012

Profile Image of Curtis Cadenhead

“Aging in Place” and How to Do It in Your Home – The House Plan Shop

Walk in ShowerOne of today’s growing and popular living trends for seniors, retirees and baby boomers is aging in place or preparing to age in place. This senior living trend allows people to grow old in a comfortable and safe environment they are familiar with instead of moving in with family members or heading to a nursing home. There are many ways to assess your current living environment and prepare for a time when you might need a little assistance or services to allow you to live independently in your home. When assessing your current living environment, it is necessary to examine all the major areas of your home including bedrooms, bathrooms, entries and even the yard. It is also pertinent that you take a look at the surrounding community and see what facilities, services and thoughtful extras it may offer that will allow you to live on your own for as long as possible. Below are some tips from The House Plan Shop to help you create a plan for aging in place.

 

·         Install good lighting. Proper lighting is necessary in all living spaces and surrounding outdoor areas including bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, gathering spaces, kitchen, laundry room, hallways, stairways, porches, garage, sidewalks, and the driveway. Proper lighting is necessary if you wish to avoid accidents such as tripping and falling.

·         Consider adding a garage lift. A garage lift helps those who use wheelchairs gain access to the home from inside the garage where one or more steps are necessary to enter the home.

·         Assess porches. Make sure all porches (front, back and any side porches) have a safe, non-slippery surface. Add rails and/or ramps where necessary for easy and safe access. 

·         Inspect and upgrade your entry. The entry to your home is your doorway to the rest of the world. It should be convenient and safe to use no matter the time of day, what the weather may be, or what your physical ability or condition may be. A barrier-free entry makes it easy to gain access to the home whether walking through the door unassisted, using a wheelchair, crutches, or the like. No step entries have no steps from the driveway to the walkway to the front door, and they have very little slope, if any, easily accommodating someone using a wheelchair or who has trouble climbing steps. If your home has steps, consider replacing them with a ramp.

·         Check your thresholds. Remove thresholds from entries and rooms that are divided by a threshold to eliminate tripping hazards.

·         Modify your kitchen. Ensure there is ample space to maneuver. This may mean removing a few cabinets, a snack bar, or even an island sometime in the future. Consider varying heights of countertops. Lower countertops work well for rolling right up to the counter in a wheelchair, but require leg space underneath. (This can also be done with cooking surfaces and the sink. Allow knee clearance for the sink.) Taller countertops, such as bar height, allow you to stand at the counter and chop veggies, etc., without bending forward the slightest bit, ideal for those with back problems. Mount a microwave or wall oven at a reachable height instead of high over the counter top or stove. Add a raised dishwasher that allows you to load and unload dishes without stooping over.

·         Make adjustments in the bedroom. Be sure there is ample maneuvering space. This may require a different furniture arrangement, but more space to move eliminates tripping and other accidents. Also, build a walk-in closet or remodel the one you have. Be sure to add storage at different heights making things easy to access no matter what your condition or ability.

·         Survey the great room.  Make sure the furniture arrangement allows for maximum maneuverability. Remove area rugs that create varied heights on the walking surface eliminating tripping hazards. Also, be sure lamp cords are tucked away so you don’t trip on them. If you store magazines in a basket on the floor, consider putting it in a place that does not hinder traffic such as under an end table.

·         Modify the bathroom. Hire a professional to remodel your bathroom. Make sure there is plenty of room to maneuver. Install a roll-in/walk-in shower with multiple showerheads at adjustable heights. Install and elevated toilet. Add grab bars by each bathroom facility (sink, shower, toilet). Lower the bathroom sink and allow knee space below so you can add a bench to sit on if necessary or roll up to the sink with a wheelchair.

·         Consider your gardening hobby. If you enjoy maintaining a vegetable or flower garden, you might consider raising your beds. Raised garden beds reduce stress and fatigue of bending over for long periods of time allowing you to enjoy your gardening hobby without physical stress for years to come.

·          Learn about community services. Find out if your local community offers a transportation service such as a van or small bus to take residents to the bank, grocery store, doctor appointments, social activities, etc., in the event you are no longer able to drive.

·         Drive around the neighborhood and pay attention to sidewalks and street crossings. Are they safe for wheel chairs or scooters? One day you may find you need to rely on one of these to get around the neighborhood, and safe sidewalks and street crossings will be necessary.

·         Assess your finances. If you are set financially, make arrangements or set aside some money for home health services, cleaning and/or laundry services, should you find you need them one day.

No responses yet