Monday, 20 August 2012 12:29
Research shows that staged homes sell quicker. You don't need to hire a professional stager, though; just get a second opinion of your work from a friend with a good eye for how things look. Here are 10 self-staging tips:
1. Freshen the Paint. Put a fresh coat of paint on walls and trim. Use neutral colors and think about painting the exterior too if you think it needs it.
2. Fill Empty Wall Space. Bare walls make your home feel cold. Put up framed artwork, mirrors or photography. Be creative -- hang plates, driftwood or interesting found objects! 3. Treat the TV like Art. A flat-screen TV on the wall can be a piece of art. Connect it to a DVD player or computer and play a silent slide show of scenes from nature. Remove TVs from bedrooms.
4. Furnish All Rooms. Buyers have trouble seeing themselves living in a space that's empty. Don't use a lot of furniture and avoid bold patterns. Add pillows and throws for pops of color.
5. Install Window Treatments. Blank windows feel sterile. Put up a simple curtain rod and solid color drapes for a cozy feeling and a nicely framed view outside.
6. Tidy Up the Bookshelves. Get rid of clutter on shelves and remove book jackets to create a decorative focal point.
7. Add Flowers. Fresh-cut flowers and plants add life. Avoid using pastic flowers and trees-- they look dated.
8. Make Bedrooms Gender-neutral. Keep colors neutral, with simple white bedding for a fresh look.
9. De-clutter everywhere. Remove personal items from rooms -- family photos, collectibles, mail, magazines, and toys. Tidy up closets. In the kitchen, take small appliances off counter tops; organize food and dishes in cupboards.
10. Keep Up the Yard. Make sure your yard looks neat and well taken care of. Cut the grass before the buyer visits.
BATTERY BOOSTERS FOR SMARTPHONES
Streaming movies and video chats on smartphones are great, but not for their batteries. Here's how to get more from each charge.
1. Check Settings. Anything constantly getting data drains the battery. Go to settings and turn off apps' access to GPS and automatic checking for emails. Turn off WiFi when not in a place where you want to use it. Look for advanced battery-saving modes that adjust brightness and other power-draining factors.
2. Use WiFi Wherever You Can. When WiFi is available, turn on the WiFi setting. WiFi saves data charges and power, especially when downloading large files or watching videos. Faster and stronger WiFi connections use less power.
3. Keep It Charged. For your first few charges on a new phone, let the battery drain almost completely to condition it for a fuller charge. But after that, charge the phone nightly no matter how much power is left.
4. Try a Portable Booster. Portable spare batteries are available to charge phones, tablets and other mobile devices when away from a power source.
5. Use a Powered Case. These are protective phone cases with backup batteries. Unfortunately, they increase the size and weight of the phone, cost more than standard cases and you do have to charge them.
6. Turn off 4G. Don't enable 4G unless you're in a known 4G area. 4G networks are not yet widely available, so the phone drains power looking for a connection.
Would you like to know more about financing or refinancing your home or about funding home improvements? Please call or email us – we're always here to help.... Have a great day! PS Each month shows more evidence the housing market is recovering in many areas. But prices are still very affordable and mortgage rates remain near record lows. But it's a good idea to get the financing process started early. So if you're thinking about buying or refinancing, please call or email us now to talk about your situation.