Setting the Stage

When trying to sell your home, you want to make sure its best features are on display without going over-the-top or downplaying anything that could sway a potential buyer. Obviously, the exterior of a house is easier to show off in spring or summer, when the sun is out and your grass is a pleasant shade of green. But even when winter is still keeping the plant life to a minimum, the experts here at Intracoastal Realty have a few ideas to combat any lingering winter chill.

Keep everything accessible

There’s a reason the term is “spring cleaning.” But, in order to put your house’s best foot forward and get it sold, you might have to bust out the gardening gloves a little earlier than planned. The very first impression you can give is of your home’s exterior, so make it a memorable one – and in a good way, too. Clear the walkways, establish comfortable paths between shrubs and other plant life that will be returning in the spring, and in the case of snow or ice, be sure to shovel the sidewalk and steps when a potential buyer is coming over.

Timing is everything

Some homeowners like to spruce up the outdoors with some decorative lighting, even before and after the major holiday season. You can use this to your advantage if you’re trying to sell your house when the branches are more than likely bare. Strands of twinkling lights and strategically placed adornments can fill up the empty space left once the leaves fall, and go a long way in making your home look and feel warm and comforting, even when the temperatures outside say otherwise.   

Play to your strengths

Let’s face it: every house has its flaws. The advantage to selling yours in wintertime, though, is that if it’s a matter of a small yard or otherwise awkward terrain, you can go ahead and address these drawbacks openly with potential buyers while still having plenty of room without encroaching foliage to point out the positives. Take a walk around the property with your real estate agent and take stock of the pros and cons, then discuss the best ways to present them to those that come for a viewing of the house. With the right agent, any interested parties will promptly get both sides of the story, without you truly risking the sale in favor of disclosure.

No matter the time of year, putting a house on the market is always going to be a challenge. With experienced agents like those at Intracoastal Realty, you can be sure that you have someone to walk you through every step of the process. Contact us today to get started!

5 Ways to Fight the Winter Blues

Even at the beaches in North Carolina, the dead of winter can sometimes feel endless and just a little dry. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything you could do to bring back some color in your home! When it’s too cold to enjoy the outdoors and a touch too dreary to properly dream of summer sunshine, we’ve got a few tricks you can use to rejuvenate your personal environment.

Bring the outside in

It may seem too simple, but try bringing a few houseplants in to make up for the lack of color outside. There are some varieties that are nice and easy to maintain on a daily basis, so you don’t even need to worry about letting them get out of hand or dying before spring makes a reappearance.

Lighten the mood

Use natural lighting and sheer curtains to encourage a transition back into stronger sunlight. Not only does this move make use of the limits of winter days, but it’ll save you a few bucks on your energy bill in the long run.

Brighten things up… literally

Swap out bulbs for when the days do grow dark, and you might even trick yourself into thinking the elongated daylight hours are back! Your home will be well-lit, and you can begin to condition yourself and your housemates to be ready for those drawn-out summer days before daylight savings time.

Swap out darker decor

Use white or light-colored furniture and fabrics to chase away the winter shadows. The paler tones will complement the lighting in other parts of the room (like your new light bulbs and more accessible windows).

Channel your inner artist

Fresh paint can transform a room, and if winter has you down, then perhaps it’s time to reintroduce parts of your home to spring and summer! Take a day (the weather has you inside already, right?) and thoroughly clean everything, paint, then step back and admire. And, when you own your own home, you can always change your mind and remodel the place come summertime.

With these and more, you and your home will be on your way out of the winter blues in no time! Keep up-to-date with our blog for more homeowner tips and news, or contact us if you’re ready to make your move to one of North Carolina’s coastal communities.

Home Renovations That Can Hurt (and Help) Your Property Value

Home Improvement House Meaning Renovate Or RestoreThe real estate market is on fire! When we have a market like this, it may be the right time to prepare your property for sale. If you’re considering substantial changes, they could affect the property’s overall market value. Here are four remodels to avoid and four to consider before listing your home.

Posted on Feb 23 2017 – 10:57am by Housecall / Brooke Nally

Remodels to Avoid:

Luxury Rooms

An indoor basketball court, wine cellar, sauna, or even a movie theater won’t often recoup the high building costs. Luxury add-on rooms are hard to pitch to buyers unless you’re living in an upscale housing market—the average homebuyer won’t be willing to pay for them. Further, rooms that depend heavily on wired electronics, like home theaters, are hard to keep current because TVs and speakers are constantly advancing.

Swimming Pool

The average cost to build a pool is $39,084, a hefty price tag that is seldom recovered once the home is sold. It’s widely accepted throughout the industry that a homeowner will lose money by adding a swimming pool. Homebuyers don’t want to deal with the maintenance cost of a pool (which can cost as much as $2,000 a year), the added insurance premiums, and—if they have young kids—the safety issues.

Gaudy Accents

Though gold-plated crown molding or mosaic-tile backsplashes may feature prominently in your ideal vision for your home, they often turn out to be the average homebuyer’s worst nightmare. Passing fads or niche trends rarely stick around long, so if you miss the brief window when your remodeling choices are in, you’ll end up paying for it later.

Changes Contrary to Area Standards

If you aren’t watching the trends common to your area, you could end up losing a lot of money. A home that totals $600,000 after all the renovations won’t sell in a neighborhood where homes are netting half that price. Likewise, knocking down the walls of extra bedrooms for an open layout won’t be appealing in a family-oriented neighborhood.

Remodels that Pay:

Steel Doors

You don’t want to go cheap on a standard front door. At roughly $1,000, steel doors are comparatively affordable, durable, low maintenance and burglar resistant. As an added bonus, the National Association of Realtors® reports that steel door upgrades show the highest return on investment of any home remodel, at over 100 percent of the cost.

Solar Panels

As the price of solar panels continues to drop, the energy payback on installing them is becoming greater and greater. The average rooftop solar system is now paid off in seven and a half years. After that, panels are a big money-saving asset. A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory notes that homebuyers “consistently have been willing to pay more for a property” with solar panels—a premium of around $4 per installed watt, on average.

Related: Will Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Solar Panels?

New Siding

The exterior of your house is the first thing potential homebuyers see when they come to your home, and you want to make the best first impression. This is part of the reason redoing your siding is so profitable. New siding recoups around 80 percent of the initial cost, according to the National Association of Realtors®, thanks largely to the increased curb appeal and improved energy efficiency it provides.

Broadband Access

Access to broadband speeds is considered an essential utility for today’s connected homebuyer. Research shows that faster internet speeds increase your home value by as much as 3 percent. Homeowners can prepare their homes for higher broadband connectivity by working with area providers to install requisite equipment and wiring. Building out wall ports and cable-hiding baseboards is a good move to attract buyers, too.

Even if you’re not considering selling your home just yet, keep potential selling benefits in mind. Intrepid homeowners know that the best remodels will increase both quality of life and listing price, so take care to invest in projects that will net the biggest returns.