Did you know that April is National Lawn and Garden Month? If you don’t have a garden, now is the perfect time to cultivate one! Tending to plants is a wonderful way to get involved with nature and beautify your home. Additionally, scientific studies show that gardening can reduce stress, so it’s beneficial in many ways. Even if you’ve never put a shovel in soil, it’s easy to get started! We’re eager to help you make your yard the envy of all your neighbors with these gardening tips for beginners.

Beautiful Home With Green Grass Yard

To get started, the first thing you’ll need to decide is where to plant your greenery. Get creative with the location and layout of your plot; you don’t have to be constrained to a 4’x4’ area if you aren’t feeling it. Popular locations to consider are around your mailbox, the front yard, under a tree, the backyard, or along the side of your house. The place you choose to establish your flower bed will help guide you when picking out what plants to grow.

Once you’ve picked a spot, research what plants will thrive in those conditions. For instance, don’t plant a shade-loving plant in an exposed area or a plant that favors shade in an exposed area. Try incorporating native species into your plot so you can positively contribute to the local ecology. Native plants are also more likely to take to your environmental conditions, meaning that they can be hardier growers. Have fun picking out what colors and heights you want to include in your garden; this is the perfect opportunity to showcase your personal aesthetic!

Planting flower garden around a house

In a few weeks, your hard work will be rewarded with a beautiful garden and many compliments! Planting a garden adds natural, seasonal beauty to your yard, thus giving your home curb appeal. Even if you’re not selling your home, a garden is a great thing to maintain because it shows you put care into your property. Gardening is a hobby that will enrich your life and the environment –get digging today!

If you have any questions or want more information about how to add curb appeal to your home, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

New Year’s is an ideal time to make resolutions to hit the gym, eat healthier, and make better choices. For many homeowners, the process of making their home marketable can feel overwhelming, and the prep stage often gets put on the backburner. Why not resolve to make 2020 the year to get your home ready to go to market? Here are some ideas to get you started.

A clean home is a happy home! Use the new year as an excuse to really give your home a deep clean and get rid of unnecessary items. When your home looks clean, it gives a positive impression that you take care of your property. Along with eliminating your home’s dirt and grime, take a moment to go through your belongings and get rid of things you don’t need anymore. Try starting with one room and sift through it thoroughly. Beginning the cleaning process now will not only make your house less cluttered, but will also reduce the amount of packing to be done once your home is sold.

Despite the popularity of house flipping reality shows, many people will not be attracted to homes that need heavy repairs or upgrades. A home that needs major fixes means the buyer will have to invest even more money into the purchase, and that can make a sale less likely to happen. If you needed another reason to get problem areas fixed, improving utility issues can increase your home equity. Take action to get everything in your home in working order before it opens to prospective buyers.

The exterior of your home is the first thing buyers will see when your home is on the market. If they aren’t intrigued by the outside, they may not want to look at the inside, either. You don’t need to do any fancy landscaping, simply mowing the lawn and trimming overgrown vegetation can do wonders. Additionally, consider giving your house a fresh coat of paint if it’s looking faded.

Before you officially declare your home for sale, it’s important to find a realtor who understands your needs and can help you get the best price for your home. An experienced agent will be able to guide you through the selling stage and know how to market your home. You may have to try out a few agents before you find one that’s a good fit for your situation, but having a competent agent is well worth the search.

Figuring out how much your house is worth and how much you could potentially make from a sale can be a bit confusing. Work with your agent to perform a competitive market analysis to get an estimate of your home’s value. Once you have an idea of its value, you and your agent can discuss an ideal selling price.  Finding that sweet spot for your asking price will help optimize future profits and attract buyers.

Don’t feel like you need to fulfill all these resolutions at once. Start with one and make it your goal to work your way through them. In no time, your home will be ready to show off to prospective buyers. What better way to start the new year than to make your home the best it can be!

If you have any questions or want more information about the home selling process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the home buying process, click here to get started!

You only have one chance to make a great first impression and for your home that impression comes from curb appeal. It’s up to you to make your home appealing, so spend the time and money to entice potential buyers to take a further look. Here are 8 ways to add curb appeal to sell your home:

Clean: The first thing you should do to your home is give it a much-needed “bath”. Rent a power washer if you don’t own one or hire a professional. You’d be amazed at the difference a deep cleaning will make to your home. Don’t stop at just the house; clean the porch/deck, walkways and driveway. Getting rid of all the grime will make your home look like a million bucks without having to spend it.

Paint: Now that your home is squeaky clean, you can add a fresh coat of paint. Redoing the entire exterior of your home isn’t necessary, so if you’re working on a budget don’t worry. Instead, focus on painting a couple areas that will stand out. The most eye-catching spots will be your front door, shutters, trim, porch, and mailbox. Painting just these spots will keep the cost of paint down while helping rejuvenate the look of the home.

Update Any Metals: Those outdated light fixtures, rusty house numbers, and ready to fall apart railings have got to go. Start with finding modern light fixtures for your porch and go from there. All metal used around the exterior of your home should remain consistent to tie everything together. Be sure to pick items that match the overall design of your home; the exterior of your home should act as a preview for potential buyers of what they can expect when they walk inside.

Symmetry: While updating and adding pieces to the front of your home, check for symmetry. Have lighting fixtures or potted plants on each side of your front door. This will not only look inviting but will ultimately make your home more pleasing to the eye.

Add Seating: Having a place to sit will make your home seem more inviting. No matter the size of your porch or backyard, find a piece of furniture that will fit the space. For smaller areas, use a bench or rocking chair. For the backyard, a group of nice chairs or a single loveseat would give the perfect touch. This extends your “living” space outside and potential buyers can imagine themselves sitting around a fire pit, reading a book, or sipping their morning coffee. Add a path to this area and install lights along the way. This will not only make your yard look nice but is good safety feature.

Use Color: If your yard is lacking, use color—especially contrasting—to your advantage. Ditch the same old brown mulch for a brighter red. Find some bright colored pots for your plants and strategically place them around your yard. Use river rocks to create a border between your grass and beds. Dress up your mailbox with a new planter box and some bright flowers to make it really stand out.

Hide Unsightly Items: Remove the ugly from your yard. Garbage cans, recycling bins, AC units, toys and tools will take away from the organized and clean look you want. If you have a shed, put it to good use with what you can. Since you can’t remove your AC unit, try to hide it with well-placed shrubs.

Plants/Trees: If you have the budget, plant new trees, shrubs, or flowers. Make sure you research how big the tree will become before making any decisions. You don’t want something that will become 20 feet tall to be placed too close to your home or have the tree shed acorns all over your pool. Trim the hedges and pick all weeds. You’ll have to keep up with maintaining your yard as you won’t know how long it will take to sell your home.

There are endless possibilities to improve your curb appeal without breaking the bank. Choose tasks that you can easily do yourself to cut on costs. Potential buyers want to be drawn into the possibilities of the home, not exactly what you’ve created. If you can entice them to walk through the door, you’ve done your job.

If you have any questions or want more information about the homebuying process, contact one of our licensed Mortgage Loan Originators. If you are ready to begin the process, click here to get started!

Selling your home is hard. Such an arduous process can take weeks, if not months, even in the preliminary stages of house preparation. Indeed this paints an ominous picture of the whole experience; but not to worry, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

You may be wondering, is there a way to make home selling any easier? Is there a course of action that would constitute a much less hair-graying experience? The following tips might help you to prepare your home to sell, and consequently sell it quicker.

Here are 6 tips on how to get your home ready to sell:

Let There Be Light

Natural lighting and lighting fixtures

One of the best things you can do to present your house is to rip down those curtains and setup interior lighting. Natural sunlight combined with good interior lighting feels welcoming and engaging to potential buyers. It will also open up the rooms, making them appear more spacious and attractive. Here is a link to some tips regarding interior lighting.


De-personalizing your “home” to make it their “house”

Even though it is hard to admit, your home is slowly but surely becoming less of your “home” and becoming more a “house” on the market for another buyer. You may have to consider removing such items as: family photos, heirlooms, personalized touches, knickknacks, etc. By removing these items, you will enable the potential buyers to picture themselves living in that space. Then they are able to visualize their own possible memories and experiences. This could play a huge factor in their desire to move forward in the deal.

Floor Them

Pave the way with stunning flooring

Beautiful floors can be crucial to displaying your house properly; but at the same time, you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg (or lose one) replacing all the flooring in your house. Nor do you have the time. Try to clean and salvage what you already have (polishing up hardwood floors, shampooing carpets and area rugs, replace cracked tiles, etc.) to save time and money. If necessary, be willing to replace the flooring in certain rooms that may be outdated or dilapidated. Check out this link on how to clean certain types of floors.

Something Smells Fishy

Don’t let remnants of food, smoke, or pet odor linger

We all have things in our house that emit malodorous scents. It could be a pet, fridge, sink, or even a person. Regardless of what it is, do what you need to do to clear out the smell and replace it with a fragrant substitute. There’s no need to be embarrassed, but the fact is that it will affect the buyer’s impression of the house. This is often something that can be easily addressed. Here’s how.

Curb Appeal

Don’t forget the exterior of your house

The outside of the house is the very first thing potential buyers will see. All the more reason why curb appeal is crucial to the selling process. You don’t have to go crazy and dig up your entire yard, planting exotic trees and garden gnomes, or add a pool or garage. There are some very simple things you can do to enhance the external portion of your house and yard to carry it from decent to stellar. Here are some great ideas of how to do this.

An Empty Canvas

Leave the walls a neutral color

The goal here is to wipe the walls and provide a clean slate for the buyers to imagine their possibilities. When walls are already painted in very specific colors, they may look nice and presentable, but it could potentially lock the buyers into a particular look and feel that they may not desire. It proves difficult for the buyer to picture it any other way. It’s “better safe than sorry” in this case. Touch up the walls if there are marks, chips, or stains. Even consider repainting the walls with fresh coats of very neutral shades or off-whites. Now, if you think that there is only one shade of off-white to choose from, think again.

Though there are probably a hundred more tips that could be offered, hopefully you were able to gain some new insight on how to prepare your house to sell with these 6 tips. These tips can help speed up the home selling process and make the entire experience a little less stressful.

If you are looking to sell your home, be sure to click here to contact one of our Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators today to learn about what mortgage loan is right for you.