Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Top Bathroom Renovation Tips That Can Add Value to Your Home


A bathroom can be among the top-selling points in a home. Upgrading your bathroom prior to listing the home for sale may enable you to sell it at a higher price point.

Here are some of the ways that you can improve your bathroom and get the highest possible return on your investment:

Add More Storage

There are many items that you want or need to keep in a bathroom at any given time. For instance, you'll likely want to keep extra rolls of toilet paper handy or have extra hand towels available. You'll also want to keep your toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant in the bathroom. Adding a closet, a larger vanity or extra drawers underneath your current vanity, you provide plenty of space for multiple people to share the bathroom peacefully.

Add a Touch of Luxury

Buyers will have a harder time not putting an offer on a home when it has a luxurious feel to it. Adding a Jacuzzi to the bathroom will make a buyer feel as if he or she were about to buy a spa instead of a residential property. Working with companies can make it possible to make your bathroom luxurious yet affordable at the same time.

Put in New Tile

Replacing your current floor in favor of a tile one can improve the look and feel of the entire space. In fact, a remodeling contractor can add a heated floor that is ideal for those cold winter days or those chilly spring mornings. It can make it easier to face the prospect of walking to the shower or sink without the need to find your socks and slippers first.

Add an Additional Sink

If you have to share the bathroom with your spouse or kids, it's important to have multiple sinks. This allows both parents to get ready for work at once or both kids to get ready for school at the same time. It also allows each person to keep their area of the vanity as clean or as messy as they want without infringing on others.

Even if you don't have a large remodeling budget, you can still make your bathroom look and feel like the best room in the house. When done properly, this space can be the centerpiece of the home and help to attract eager buyers willing to pay top dollar for it.

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

4 Ways Your Bathroom Can Impact the Value of Your Home


Most real estate professionals agree that a home's kitchen and bathroom are two of the biggest selling points for homebuyers. However, even if you're not planning to sell your home in the near future, you should want your bathroom to be as cozy and accommodating as possible since most people spend considerable time in that room each day.

To add value to your home, or just make it more attractive and useful, here are several upgrades to consider:

Shower, Tub, Sink and Toilet

Have an expert check your bathroom plumbing to ensure it remains in good condition. Repair any leaks in the water lines and remove evidence of mold or mildew. Fix a dripping faucet and replace worn or rusty hardware in your shower, tub or sink. Additionally, remove hard water stains in the toilet bowl or grunge around the base.

You may want to repair or replace fixtures that appear dated or that show wear, such as a chipped bathtub finish or cracked counter. Also, consider adding a bidet for convenience.

Lighting

Outdated lighting fixtures can make a room look unstylish and boring. If the electric isn't up to code, that issue should be handled immediately to ensure safety while using bathroom appliances like a blow dryer or electric shaver. Install recessed lighting or wall sconces to coordinate with the rest of your home decor. Also, dress up any windows with bamboo shades or a cheerful valance—and let the sunlight in when possible.

Flooring

A bathroom floor that's cracked or showing signs of age can be replaced affordably by utilizing newer water-resistant floor tile or linoleum. Choose a style that meshes with your bathroom's color scheme and blends with the rest of your home. New flooring can immediately brighten up a bathroom to make it feel more welcoming and updated.

Decor

You may want to paint or add wallpaper to just one wall to bring some personality to your bathroom. Add a couple plants that will thrive on the moisture and help reduce the risk of mold. A wall shelf for decorative vases, flowers or linens adds storage to make the bathroom more functional. Additionally, hang framed wall art to go with a themed shower curtain as focal points of interest. And a bath mat or throw rug can add a spot of color to bring everything together.

It won't require much time or money to get your bathroom in top condition. You can continue to enjoy it indefinitely or be assured that if you decide to sell your home, the updated bathroom might just help to clinch a sale.

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Home Maintenance: 5 Quick Exterior Fixes


It can be easy for the exterior of your home to look a bit worn after just a few years. Maintenance tasks that need to be taken care of get put off due to time constraints, and the fact that you don't necessarily see them every day. If you find yourself in this situation, consider these five outdoor fixes that'll have your home in tip-top shape in no time:

Clean Your Gutters

Depending on where you live, your gutters may need a lot of help. Take a few minutes to do a quick overview of the condition of your gutters—cleaning them out is a great first step to making them more efficient in getting excess water away from your home. You should also make sure that all of the connections are in good condition and that downspouts are secure. Finish up by spraying them down with a quick power wash to restore them to their original color.

Dress Up Your Door

Your front door should look just like that—a front door. Be sure guests don't have to guess where your front door is by dressing it up and turning it into a welcoming entryway. Consider repainting it with a fresh coat of paint or hanging a seasonal wreath. You could also add some touches like a welcome mat, or planting flowers in a pot underneath the doorbell. Dressing up your front door is an easy way to add appeal to your home.

Add Some Mulch

Is your yard looking tired? One of the best ways to instantly provide a fresh look to the exterior of your home is to add new mulch to flower beds and around trees. Mulch can provide a polished look to your yard, as well as offer plants moist insulation to keep them hydrated. An added benefit is that mulching also helps to deter weeds from popping up.

Spruce Up Your Mailbox

You may not think that people notice your mailbox, but it can be one of the first things that a guest sees when they drive up to your home. Spruce up your mailbox by giving it a fresh coat of paint or personalizing it with your last name. Other options include adding some flowers around the bottom of the stand, as well as making sure that it is secured in the ground and isn't leaning to one side.

Install Window Boxes

Adding a few window boxes underneath the windows in the front of your home is a great way to instantly add interest and natural beauty to your home's exterior. Choose from a wide variety of window box styles and colors that'll compliment your home. Plant flowers that'll add pop like daisies, marigolds, or even wave petunias that'll cascade over the side of the box.

Fixing up the exterior of your home doesn't have to become a week-long project. There are many different things that you can do quickly that'll add beauty to the outside of your home. Consider making all of these quick fixes in order to spruce up the exterior of your home this summer!

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Monday, January 18, 2021

4 Ways to Polish Up Your Home Exterior Before Getting an Appraisal


When it's time to have your home appraised, you want to be sure that it looks its absolute best. That's because a good appearance is more likely to result in a higher appraisal value, which means more money for you in the loan or other financial product that you're seeking.

Since the exterior of your home is the first thing that an appraiser will notice, it's vital to take some extra time to make it as welcoming as possible.

Add Mulch to Flower Beds

Adding new mulch to gardens, around trees and in other key locations can quickly transform the look of your home's exterior. Even if the appraisal is happening in the fall or winter, it's still a good idea to add new mulch to help your yard look its best. Just be sure to use an earth-tone color, such as brown or black, so that your mulch doesn't become a distraction.

Replace Siding

If your home's exterior material is cracked, warped or entirely missing, you could see your appraisal value suffer. Therefore, it's a good idea to have the existing material replaced with something new and durable, such as vinyl siding. In addition to creating a good impression on the appraiser, adding new exterior cladding will help protect your home from the weather, making this a good investment in both the short and long term.

Remove Dead Trees

Losing a tree to age or disease can be frustrating. As frustrating as it is, though, you don't want to delay removing a dead tree from your property, especially if you're about to have an appraisal. Dead trees make it appear as though you don't take care of your home, especially considering that dead trees are a major safety hazard. Although tree removal can be costly, it's something that's well worth the investment.

Mow the Lawn

It seems simple, but many people fail to mow their lawn before an appraiser arrives. Even if it's only been a few days since you last mowed, the shaggy look of a growing lawn can detract from your home's appearance. When mowing, you'll also want to take the time to trim and edge your lawn to make it look as good as possible. Even lawns that have weeds can still look presentable if they've been properly mowed.

As a homeowner, it can be easy to overlook faults in your home's exterior. When preparing your home for an appraisal, though, you have to stop thinking like a homeowner and start thinking like an appraiser. Scrutinize every detail of your home's exterior, asking yourself if there's any way that certain details could be changed for the better. By taking the time to focus on these details, you'll likely be rewarded with a higher appraisal value.

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Sunday, January 17, 2021

What Appraisers Look for During a Real Estate Appraisal


The home appraisal process can be a stressful time, whether you're buying or selling a property. It's the job of the appraiser to find the fair market value of the home. If their findings don't match the buyer's offer, there can be delays in the transaction. But if you know what appraisers look for, you might be able to prevent your house sale from running into problems.

The appraisal will be one of the bigger hurdles to clear in your sale so it will be important to have an understanding of how they work. Pricing your home accurately from the start will lead to the best results. In order for your home appraisal to get the results needed for the sale to close, it's important to know what appraisers look for:

Appraisers Look at External Factors Around Your Home

The appraiser that visits your home will have been certified to operate in the state. They'll probably be using the Uniform Residential Appraisal Report as the basis for their evaluation. This means that the appraiser will be checking for certain things both inside and outside your home, as well as factors related to its location.

The appraiser will be looking at the type of neighborhood your house is situated in. The zoning of the area is important, as are the types of homes in the neighborhood.

They also check on things more closely related to your home. This will include the lot's size, the connected utilities, the driveway and the garage. Things like garage space add more value to a home, with a two-car garage worth more than a single-vehicle garage.

If your property has something extra above what's found in other homes in your neighborhood, it could add value. While the appraiser might notice this anyway, it doesn't hurt to make sure they know. Here are other things an appraiser will look at on the exterior:

  • The condition of the siding and trim—is there wood rot? Does the siding need painting?
  • Are structures on the property sound? Are any decks, patios or porches in need of repair?
  • Are there any other exterior structures that add value, such as a storage shed?
  • Is there a pool, tennis court or other exterior feature that warrants added value?
  • Are there underground sprinklers?

The Appraiser Will Look at Internal Factors 

A big part of what appraisers look for is inside the home. They'll work out the square footage, note the number of bedrooms and bathrooms and check the condition of the structure. They'll also look at how the home was constructed and what materials were used in the walls and floors.

Appraisers will check if kitchens and bathrooms have been updated, and measure the sizes of attics and basements. They'll also look for any signs of pest infestations in the home.

Safety features can sometimes be important too. Does every staircase have a handrail? Have smoke detectors been fitted throughout the home?

What appraisers look at can sometimes be some less obvious though. There can sometimes be local factors that make certain features in a home more valuable than others. In Northern states, where natural light is at more of a premium, larger windows will be more valuable. In Southern states, shaded areas and better air conditioning might increase the value instead.

Here are several other internal features an appraiser will take note of:

  • Does the home have a security system?
  • Does the house have a central vacuum system?
  • Is there a home theatre or a sound system?
  • Are there other amenities that could add value to the property?

The Condition of the Home is Paramount

The appraiser is going to make careful note of the condition of the property. They'll be looking at the foundations, walls, roof, as well as the heating and cooling systems. Any basic maintenance issues with the home, like peeling paint, will negatively impact the valuation too.

Upgrades and Improvements Influence the Appraisal

While the appraiser will mention upgrades to your home in their report, it won't necessarily reflect the full value that you have paid for the improvement. If you've spent $60,000 on modeling your kitchen, it doesn't necessarily follow that your home will be worth $60,000 more in the appraisal.

It's difficult for the appraiser to tell the difference in the quality of every upgrade you have made to your home. If you have receipts and other documentation ready to show them, this can help.

How to Get Ready for a Home Appraisal

Since it's in your best interest to have the home appraiser value the home higher, you should try to make sure your home is looking its best. Treat a visit from the appraiser the same way you did when your home was being shown to potential buyers. Ensure it's tidy, fix any minor maintenance issues and have any paperwork that might be relevant laid out ready.

This way, you might save yourself from having to negotiate with the buyer over the price if the valuation comes in lower than expected. It is possible to challenge the appraisal value but not very likely to be successful. Most of the time, you'll only be able to get an appraisal value changed unless the appraiser has made a mistake. For example, if your home's size is presented incorrectly, this would be a valid reason for a challenge.

Going through another appraisal is also an option, though the result may still not go how you and your buyer want it to. Pricing accurately is paramount even with foreclosure homes, as lenders will not grant a mortgage on properties that do not appraise.

One of the essential steps in the process of buying or selling a home is the appraisal. Both buyers and sellers should have at least a rudimentary understanding of how a home appraisal works. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what to expect from the process. Best of luck with your next home appraisal!

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Saturday, January 16, 2021

4 Ways to Boost Curb Appeal

Homeowners focus so much on the interior of their homes that they may often neglect the outside—or at the very least do the bare minimum like keeping the lawn mowed. However, if you're thinking about selling your home or want to one-up the neighbors, here are a few ideas that'll put other yards to shame:

Update Your Walkway

When folks come to your house, you want to roll out the proverbial red carpet. A beautifully done walkway can give off the impression that you're welcoming guests to your house.

If you have a plain concrete walkway, you can tear it up and install pavers, brick or slate. However, if you don't want to do all of that, you can powerwash the walkway and stain it with a special concrete stain. Again, you can go as bold or as subtle as you'd like with the stain color, but be sure to choose a complimentary color!

Add or Update Lighting

Yes, houses often have a generic porch light, but they don't really add any pizzaz to the exterior of the home. Upgraded light fixtures add a bit of class and appeal to your home without a lot of fuss. Dark fixtures with clean lines on lighter houses just look a little more modern if that's your desired aesthetic. If you want a farmhouse look, white or gray lantern fixtures are great options. 

Other than porch lights, you can add walkway lights or light posts to the front of your driveway too. With that said, flood lights that stay on aren't necessarily great for curb appeal. We recommend motion sensor lights so that you'll be alerted of anyone (or anything) coming onto your property, but the overall look of your home won't be overshadowed by the bright lights. 

Create Flower Beds Suitable for Your Climate

You'd be surprised by how well-maintained flower beds can improve the look of your house. The bright colors, deep rich mulch and even trimming around the flower beds go a long way to helping your house look put together.

When you're choosing flowers, you want to be mindful of what type of flowers grow best in your particular neck of the woods. Flowers like pansies and hostas are great for colder climates, but hibiscus or peonies do better during the summer or warmer climates. 

If you're unsure about what flowers or plants to use, or need more information about gardening in general, the Farmer's Almanac is an excellent source.

Use Color to Make Your House Pop

Naturally, flowers are a great way to add some color to your house, but there are other ways you can add color! You can give your house a new coat of paint, which will freshen up the look of your house. Some popular exterior colors include shades of gray and blue, off white, and light neutrals like taupe and brown. 

Another great way to add color is by having a bold door and/or shutters. Red doors are typical, but have you ever considered robins egg or even a bright color like orange, fuchsia or green? Just remember to choose a color that compliments the rest of the house, rather than clashes!

As with the interior of your home, you should strive to have lovely curb appeal! Of course, meticulous landscaping improves curb appeal, but it also helps make your house feel like home.

Bob Abner is a highly respected, top producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com

Friday, January 15, 2021

Should I Sell My Home Now or Wait Until the Spring?

There are many questions homeowners ask themselves during the selling process. "How much will my home sell for?"  "How much should I list my home for?"  "Who should I select as a real estate agent to sell my home?"  "What if the real estate agent overprices my home?"  Last but not least, "Is this a good time to be selling a home?" is also a very common question that real estate agents are asked.

As with every decision in life, there are pros and cons, and choosing when to sell a home is no different. There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration before deciding when to sell a home. Many homeowners believe selling a home during the fall or winter months is not a good idea and that the spring is the only time a house should be sold. This is the furthest from the truth. Certainly most real estate markets across the United States experience a "spring market rush" every year. There is no doubt that the "spring market" is a great time to be selling and buying real estate, however, the fall and winter seasons may be the best fit for you for many reasons.

Here are several reasons why choosing to sell your home now may be a better decision than waiting until the spring:

Less Competition
One way that you can tell the spring real estate market has arrived is by driving down a street in your local community. In all likelihood there will be For Sale signs up all over the neighborhood! One great reason to sell your home now and not wait until the spring market is there is sure to be less competition.  The fewer number of comparable homes for sale, the greater the probability that a buyer will look at your home.

Simply put, it’s the supply and demand theory. If there are less homes for sale, there are less homes that a potential buyer can choose from, therefore increasing the demand for your home. Not only will less competition increase the probability for showings, but it will also increase the probability that an offer will be received and you will get the maximum amount of money for your home.

Serious Buyers Are Out There
Homes are sold and bought 365 days a year, period!  Many homeowners believe that buyers aren't out there during the fall and winter months. This simply is not the case. Serious buyers are always out there!  Some buyers may stop their home search because it is the fall or winter, but serious buyers will continue to look at homes, no matter what time of year it is.

The fall and winter months are also a great time for a potential buyer to see what a specific neighborhood is like.  Do your neighbors have pumpkins on their front step?  Are there lots of Trick-or-Treaters wandering the neighborhood on Halloween?  Do any of your neighbors have any light displays for the holidays?  There are buyers out there who will look at these types of things when determining whether your home is in the right neighborhood for them or not.

The Best Agents Are Always Up To The Challenge
Any real estate agent who tells you that the fall or winter months are a bad time to sell is not someone you want selling your home! A great real estate agent will know how to adapt to the current season and market their listings to reflect that.  A great real estate agent can make suggestions and give some of their tips on how to sell a home during the fall or winter seasons. If a real estate agent doesn't have any suggestions on making your home more desirable for the current season, you should be concerned about the creativity they are going to use when marketing your home.

Staging For The Holiday Season
Many sellers believe staging a home is the main reason a home sells.  While staging certainly helps sell homes, some buyers have a difficult time envisioning themselves in a home no matter what you do. However, there are some buyers who can easily be "sold" on a home because it is staged.  Simple “seasonal” staging such as adjusting the color of the decor or having an aroma in the air that is relative to the time of year can go a long way with some potential buyers and possibly be the difference between a home selling or not.

Quicker Transactions
Right now, there are fewer real estate transactions than there will be in the spring.  The fewer number of transactions means the mortgage lenders have less loans to process, attorneys have less closings to do, and home inspectors have fewer inspections to do.  All of these factors should lead to a quicker transaction and closing for all the parties involved.  One of the most frustrating things for a seller to deal with while selling their home is not getting answers in a reasonable amount of time. A quicker transaction is going to be less stress for you.

By considering all of the reasons above, you will be able to determine whether now is a good time to sell or if you should wait until the spring.



Bob Abner is a highly respected, top-producing, full time, Realtor for over 30 years and is an expert in the Northern Kentucky real estate market. Give Bob a call at 859-760-1660 Email Bob at BAbner@huff.com Visit Bob's Website: http://www.bobabner.com