Cynthia Owens - Five College REALTORS ®



Posted by Cynthia Owens on 10/1/2020

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

The short answer to our question of the day is...

We all know what we like when we see it. 

New flooring can greatly increase your home's beauty in the eye of the beholder, yet it's impossible to know what kind of flooring will attract your home's next buyer. That said, here are the top selling points of three popular options. 

Kudos for Carpeting

Carpet, especially if your home will be shown in the winter, is a popular way to add a comfortable look and feel to a home. Most often chosen for bedrooms, carpet can also hide a multitude of flaws beautifully and without a big dent in your savings. To spruce up a home for sale quickly, carpeting can be a great choice.

Now, for the possible drawbacks. Carpeting can cause issues for people with chemical sensitivities or allergies. It doesn't last forever, and it usually won't be as stylish in five years as it is when first installed. 

Tip: Going with one flooring choice throughout your main living spaces can produce an expansive, well put-together look.

Hoorahs for Hardwood

Hardwood flooring is a classic choice. Walk into a home with hardwood floor, and you get a sense of elegance, comfort and beauty. Over time, the essential oils of the wood offer a subtly aromatherapeutic and natural appeal. A well-maintained wood floor lasts for decades.

Yes, a lot of moisture can impact its look, and the kids and pets can scratch it. And refinishing is a big job involving chemical abrasion, although fans of the DIY method point out to us that there are wood and laminate refinishing kits on the market for under $100.  

Tip: A great, cost-effective alternative is engineered hardwood. Engineered hardwood comes prefinished, can be easily installed without a subfloor. 

A Toast to Tile

Tile is as practical as it is handsome. Well-chosen tile will last the home's lifetime. The richer the hues, and the narrower the space left for grout to show, the easier tile is to clean.

In kitchens, either tile or laminate styled as tile works well. Expanses of tile are especially desirable in homes and condos throughout Florida and other warm states.

If you have tile, talk it up! Note its ease of cleaning, especially to potential owners with pets.

Tip: You can buy tile or laminate that looks like hardwood and have the hardwood look—without the refinishing needs.

Sellers Can Offer Options

If you're selling, and your flooring could use updating, considering offering to trim a little off your sale price, encouraging potential buyers to install their own choice of new flooring as desired. That offer itself might just make a deal happen.




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/7/2020

Image by Pixabay from Pexels

What do you picture when someone says 'laundry'?  Is it piles of dirty clothes, sock singles lost to some undisclosed dimension, a moldy smell and lost hours?  Or is it shrugging on a warm shirt straight from the dryer, lemon scent and the zen of folding: a little pocket of peace and quiet on a hectic, cold day?

People who fit into the latter category aren't from Stepford.  Chances are, they've made the deliberate choice to craft a laundry room the way they design other rooms in their house: for their comfort, convenience, and in the case of the laundry room, for utility and ease of use. 

Often a key component to creating a harmonious space is to minimize clutter.  Check out these three tips for creating a clutterless, clean, and welcoming workspace!

Incorporate Drying Racks

Drying delicates can create a lot of clutter!  Where do you put the stand-up drying rack?  Where to put it when you've folded it away? 

Solve that problem in a snap by making fold-away drying racks part of your interior design straightaway.  You can easily purchase or create cabinet-style drying racks like these:

The bars swing down for ease of use, but when you release them, they snap upright to keep your drying clothes out of the way.  Centsational Style shows you how to make your own here

Alternately,  you can incorporate rails on which to hang your clothing from hangers right in the laundry room, for things that are best dried while hanging, or just to store clothing that's clean and ready to wear. These rails are best incorporated under cabinets or a ledge that may not be in use.

Even small spaces can make use of this trick.  Try creating a  hanging bar, made simply from two thick, leather straps and a copper rod (or metal rod of your choosing).  It looks incredibly upscale but would cost very little to make. Just fix two, 3-4 inch leather straps to a ledge or underneath weight-baring cabinets, then slide the rod through.

If you're feeling crafty, you might also consider making an old ladder into a drying rack for a farmhouse feel.

Keep Your Laundry Basket Space in Mind

Keep laundry baskets out of the way by creating drawers or shelving space for them.  If you're staging a house, buy baskets that fit so that these drawers' purpose is clear to potential buyers -- and so no one has to hunt for the right-sized baskets later on.

You can also create a laundry basket holder of your own from freestanding shelving units if you don't have built-in drawers or have trouble finding a fitting that will work for your space.

Feeling crafty? Here's a great article on how to create a do-it-yourself mobile laundry basket holder.

Keep Your Ironing Board Out of the Way

Your ironing board can take up a lot of space if you keep it set up, and it can be a challenge to yank it forward out of a nook or wrestle it down from a high spot if you keep it folded. 

Consider hanging it up on coat hooks.  Be sure to hang it so that the cloth of the board (where you'd grip it to lift) is at shoulder height, making it easy to set down and hook back up.

You can make one of these from scratch using these instructions from The Inspired Hive, but you can just as easily purchase one and unscrew any extraneous hooks before hanging it.

Employ these space-saving tactics and your laundry room will be a calm, peaceful, and orderly oasis!




Categories: Home improvement  


Posted by Cynthia Owens on 11/21/2019


 

Are you looking for some new and unique flooring options for your home? Check out this list of artistic, eye-catching and unique flooring options from around the globe.

Roman Tile Floor

The most luxurious homes during the Golden Age of Rome boasted floors that were a fantastic work of art. Tiny colored tiles were created with meticulous care to make beautiful mosaics. Animal motifs were common, but so were geometric patterns. Some Romans also enjoyed heated floors. In this present day, you can have a mosaic floor just as the Romans, and have it heated for some extra cash, too.

Bamboo Cane Floor

Over the years, bamboo has become popular as an eco-friendly choice to hardwood. Bamboo has the same shiny, grainy and smooth appearance of a typical wooden floor and the same durability, too. However, bamboo grows faster than regular trees, which makes it a renewable source. Bamboo is easy to clean and can last for many years.

Log End Floor

Log end floor is a different twist on the standard hardwood floor. With an amazingly rustic yet sophisticated appearance, the log-end floor is made of well-crafted log pieces to bring the feeling of a traditional log cabin and a splash of high-class.A log-end floor has a very flexible design and is superbly comfortable to walk on.

Rubber Floor

If you want to think out of the ordinary in regard to floors for your kitchen, a rubber floor is a beautiful, unique flooring choice. Typically, used in playroom and gyms, rubber is springy underfoot and soft, so it is excellent for standing for an extended period, such as when cooking or washing the dishes. A rubber floor is durable and requires low maintenance. It will provide a fresh and unique look for homeowners who want something different.

Penny Floor

A fresh and exciting trend is known as a penny floor aka copper floor. Penny floor is just as the name implies: a layer of pennies makes up this unique floor, held firmly into place with a sealant. Even though it takes a considerable amount of time to lay down all the pennies, it is surprisingly affordable. If you want stylish flooring for your home without spending too much, the penny floor is a great choice.

When renovating your home, you should consider choosing a unique flooring option as it can boost the value and appeal of your home. Not sure what to pick? Ask your real estate agent what flooring types are the best return on investment in your market.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 7/18/2019

Nothing can quite compare to the emotional cocktail of excitement, fear, and anxiety of being a first-time home buyer. Being a homeowner is made out to be a huge milestone in life, and rightly so. Have you ever signed your name 37 times in a row? It's enough to intimidate anyone. By the end of the entire homebuying ordeal, you will have signed your name so many times that you'll feel like you should have just made yourself a signature stamp. You're in for quite the bumpy road being a first-time home buyer, some highs, some lows and everything in between. 

The lows? 

Oh boy, where to start? Did you know your credit score before you started looking for a home? Sure, maybe you have a credit card you keep some line of credit in your name. However, a house? It’s a whole different ball game! What is a good credit score? They did not teach us this in high school, but thank goodness we all know the order of math operations as P.E.M.D.A.S. (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) right? What’s an escrow? What if the inspector missed something? When is my first mortgage payment due? You’ll have so many questions about being a first-time homebuyer, so do yourself a favor and get a realtor who can adequately answer all those questions! A great realtor can make the entire process feel like a cool Island breeze.

The highs? 

House shopping honestly is so much fun! Getting to figure out your unique taste in the architecture of your home is a fantastic experience. Sure, there are things that you must specifically look for to fit your needs, after all, you'll be spending the next 20-30 years of your life in this house if you do it right. The day you close on your home is exciting as well, disregarding the whole signing your name a thousand times. The moment comes with a sense of pride and accomplishment that you'll feel on closing day. Looking for your first home can be a long process, and sometimes can take months to years depending on the market. So, when it finally happens, and all the stars line up you can't help but feel a great sense of accomplishment. High five yourself on that day, cause all the stress and worries that you had in buying your first home are finally coming to a close. Now you can focus attention on the fun part: home improvement! 

 Being a homeowner can be such a fun-filled adventure, but hold on, because it will be a bumpy ride. Let your professional realtor navigate those bumps for you.





Posted by Cynthia Owens on 5/30/2019

Not all homes have vast lawns and flower beds to add curb appeal. If your home doesn’t have a wrap-around porch or arched entry, you can still make it the more eye-catching home on the block by merely changing out the garage doors. Front-facing garage entries give you the opportunity to create a whole new look by either partial or complete makeovers.

Garage door hacks

  • Hardware. Simple adding new equipment to your garage door can give it faux carriage-house looks. Add faux carriage hinges on the sides and grab handles in the middle for a quick makeover that makes your entry stand out.
  • Windows. Change out one of the upper panels. Multi-panel overhead garage doors can be tedious, but you can change out one of the top panels for one with windows or decorative trim to make your home distinct from your neighbors. If you can’t change out the panels, add faux windows to the front. You can find magnetic and stick-on versions at your local hardware and DIY stores and online.
  • Paint. Most contractor-grade garage doors come in white, off-white or beige tones. Make your stand out by giving it a darker hue. Choose a color that complements the shade of your home and stands out from the trim color.
  • Faux finish. Another option that requires a little practice is to put a wood-grain finish on the door. From the street, your home will appear to have expensive wood doors. Finish off with sparkling hardware, and you’ve got instant interest. Talk to your local specialty paint store for advice on using gel stains and faux finished that can hold up to the use your garage door gets. If you’re not sure about tackling this project yourself, hire a professional garage-door contractor that has the know-how to get it done for you.
  • Reface your garage door with wood veneer. Glue or screw (or both) wood veneer to your door’s exterior to give it an upgraded look. Go vertical for a Mid-Century Modern vibe, or horizontal with wrought-iron hardware for a traditionally carriage-house look. Garage door openers and springs work in tandem with the weight of the garage door. So, make sure you have a strong enough system to handle the extra weight.

If you’re not sure how to do any of these on your own, ask your realtor for recommendations for local contractors that know to give you a look you want.







Tags