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Hosting an Outdoor House Party

By Virtual Results

Hosting an Outdoor House PartyAfter more than two years of the pandemic, we think it’s safe to say that we’re all ready to let loose a little bit. But if you’re still a little wary of hosting an indoor party at home, then think about having an outdoor shindig. Now that warm weather is here, it’s the perfect time to host an outdoor house party. Even if you have a small yard – or just a balcony – you can take the party outdoors by following these simple tips.

Be clear on your invitation

When inviting people to your outdoor house party, make sure to clearly state what your guests should expect. Let them know that you’ll be eating and socializing outdoors and give them tips on what to wear. If you’ll be grilling food on the barbecue, then tell people when you’ll be firing it up so you don’t have to do it twice. And if you’re hosting a pool party, let guests know what else they may need to provide in addition to swimsuits, such as towels or extra sunscreen.

Figure out where everyone will sit

Most people will enjoy being able to sit down during your party, so be sure to have enough seats for everyone. If you’re inviting 15 people but only have five outdoor chairs, then you’ll need to think outside the box. If you have indoor chairs like kitchen chairs that can do double-duty, then bring them outside during the party. You can also use blankets on the ground or even rent chairs if you like.

Light it up

Lighting is an important part of creating an atmosphere, and you want to have just the right vibe for your outdoor party, especially if it will go into the night. Overhead lights can be harsh, especially outside. So consider hanging up string lights or lanterns to enhance your lighting during the party. Solar options are available in case you don’t have an electrical outlet outside. You can also opt for candles, especially the flameless varieties that operate with batteries.

Be mindful of standing water

Mosquitos can quickly dampen the party spirit. That’s why you should take mosquito control precautions and strategies to help ensure that your party is as mosquito-free as possible. This means looking around your outdoor area for standing water. This is where mosquitos breed, so be sure to empty places where water can pool.

Create a playlist

Music is the perfect way to set the tone for your outdoor house party. Create a playlist before the big event that will assist in setting the vibe. Upbeat music is usually a perfect choice for summer parties. If you’re lacking inspiration, then just check out streaming services for curated playlists that match your mood.

Prepare for hot weather

You never know when a heatwave will hit. That’s why you should think ahead about how you’ll keep your guests cool in case it’s hot outside. Keep cold compresses handy for those really sweltering days. Stock coolers with plenty of ice to keep beverages cold, and consider using fans to help move the air.

Compliments of Virtual Results

2022 Garden Trends

By Virtual Results

2022 Garden TrendsGardening season is here! Is there anything better than being able to relax and enjoy a beautiful garden in your own home? We don’t think so! But we understand that it can be difficult to get started. That’s why we’ve researched the most popular garden trends of the year to provide you with some inspiration. Let this be the year that you finally bring to life the garden you’ve always imagined!

Creating wildlife habitats

We’ve all grown so much more sensitive to how our landscapes are part of a larger environment. That’s why in 2022 more and more people are beginning to design their gardens with local wildlife in mind. Consider adding features to your garden that encourage insects, animals, and birds to visit. This could include planting native plants, providing water sources, and focusing on building healthy soil.

Adding a cut flower garden

Is there anything better than being able to walk out your front door and gather flowers from your yard for an indoor bouquet? That’s why many people are opting to add a cut flower garden to their landscapes. Planting and growing flowers that are specifically for arrangements not only brings beauty to your yard but also to any room of your home.

Designing for four seasons

We often think of summer as the peak gardening season. And while your garden is its showiest during the summer months, you should also think about what your garden looks like in other seasons. Many gardeners are now designing their gardens to provide beauty during all four seasons – even in the harshest of winters. Choosing plants that have winter beauty, whether it’s a pleasing shape or vibrant red berries – will help extend your enjoyment of your landscape.

Choosing plants for changing climates

Climate change is on the minds of many of today’s avid gardeners. That’s why it’s become so important to choose plants and designs that take climate change into account. If you live in an area that is prone to fires, then choosing drought-tolerant plants that are less likely to quickly ignite makes sense. On the other hand, if you live in an area with flooding, then planting a rain garden can help trap run-off during big storms.

Incorporating food into the landscape

With food prices on the rise, more home gardeners are beginning to experiment with edible landscapes. Planting a vegetable garden in the backyard is a great way to supplement your diet with fresh herbs and veggies. Fruit trees are also a great source of both beauty and food. But you don’t have to limit yourself to just your backyard. Many gardeners are exploring ways to add plants to the front yard that are both beautiful and edible. However if you’re looking for superfood supplements that will give the best value for your money and will deliver the best nutrients your family needs, then check round up here for more info!

Utilizing balconies and porches

Just because you don’t have a big yard doesn’t mean you can’t garden. In fact, many people are growing abundant gardens on balconies and porches. You may be surprised to find out how many plants you can fit into a small area, especially when you utilize vertical space. Container gardening is an easy way to create a beautiful garden even in the tiniest space.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Can Music Sell Your Home?

By Virtual Results

Can Music Sell Your Home?You know how much music can influence how you feel. There’s nothing like an upbeat song to get you out of a funk or something quiet and soothing when you need to relax. Music sets the tone for parties, gets you in the mood to shop at stores, and helps you unwind at the spa. So have you ever thought to tap into the power of music to sell your home? Here’s what you need to know.

Think of the vibe you’re going for

When you’re hosting an open house or having buyers tour your home, you want to set a certain tone. What kind of vibe are you going for? You want to choose music that makes people want to linger but also doesn’t compete for attention. It’s best to steer clear of music that can be polarizing or not to everyone’s taste. This could include music with offensive lyrics, heavy metal, country, or music that is overtly religious. Opt for music that is calming and neutral. Fortunately, you don’t have to start from scratch. Many of the music streaming services already have curated playlists that are perfect for open houses.

Let the music match the style

Something else to keep in mind is matching your music choices to the style of your home. If you’re trying to sell an old Victorian farmhouse, then the latest top 40 tunes may seem out of place. Is your home midcentury modern? Then consider a playlist from the era featuring music from Frank Sinatra and others from that time period. You should also let your music match your surroundings in other ways. If it’s a pretty spring day, then opt for music that is light and airy. What kind of neighborhood is your home in? If it’s a condo in an urban area, then jazz could be a perfect choice.

Consider instrumental tunes

When in doubt, choose music that contains no lyrics. Instrumental music can help set just the right tone without distracting buyers from touring your home. Think of who your buyers are most likely to be and let that guide you when you’re making your choices. If your home will appeal to empty nesters, then classical music could be just the ticket. You could even opt for instrumental versions of top hits. That way, the music will sound familiar without being too overpowering.

Use different music in different areas

You don’t need to have a centralized sound system in your home to play music at your open house, either. It’s perfectly fine to play different music in different areas of your home. It could work in your favor as you highlight the features and amenities of each area of your home. Just be sure that the music from different areas isn’t competing with each other for attention.

Be mindful of the volume

Finally, remember that this is an open house and not a nightclub. Be mindful of the volume of the music you’re playing. You want buyers to be able to comfortably talk with each other without having to raise their voices.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Beware These DIYs When Selling

By Virtual Results

Beware These DIYs When Selling

Performing maintenance, making repairs, and completing upgrades are important things to do when you’re selling your home. By doing these tasks before you list you’re increasing your chances of selling quickly for a good price. We also understand how tempting it may be to take on some of these projects yourself to save time and money. But some DIYs can derail your sale. These are the do-it-yourself projects you should avoid when you’re preparing to sell your home.

Making open shelves in the kitchen

Kitchens can make or break a sale. If your kitchen is a little dated, then you may be tempted to remove your cabinet doors or install open shelves. While this can certainly help make your kitchen more aesthetically pleasing, it isn’t practical. Most buyers will be put off by open shelves in the kitchen, making this a DIY to avoid.

Adding wallpaper

Wallpaper has made a big comeback in the last few years. But resist the temptation to add wallpaper when you’re preparing to sell your home. Wallpapering can be a big job, and it’s easy to mess it up. You’re also making a big visual statement with wallpaper and not all buyers will like your choice. You don’t want buyers thinking they’ll have to replace that wallpaper as soon as they move in.

Refinishing the floor

Do the hardwood floors in your home look tired and dated? While we understand you want them to look as beautiful as possible when you sell, you should avoid trying to refinish them yourself. This job requires the use of heavy-duty machinery and loads of time. Likewise, you should not attempt to install wall-to-wall carpeting on your own. It is also a labor-intensive job that is best suited for a professional.

Repairing the roof

Buyers are going to be checking out your home’s roof when touring the property. Roof repairs can be costly, and most buyers will want to avoid this expense if possible. But don’t be tempted to make roof repairs yourself. According to experts like this Cornelia roofer, fixing the roof can be extremely dangerous. And if you don’t make the repairs correctly, it can bring up red flags during your home inspection. Leave this task to the tile roofing pros or call Diversified Roofing for roof replacement.

Repairing cracks in drywall

Repainting your walls in a neutral color is always a good idea when it comes time to sell. But if your drywall has any major issues, such as cracks or holes, you should resist the temptation to fix these problems yourself. It takes quite a bit of skill to refinish the surface of the drywall, and if you attempt this job yourself with no previous experience you likely won’t be happy with the results. Hire someone with the right skills to do this job instead.

Installing a dishwasher

While it may seem like your house will be more appealing to potential buyers if you add a dishwasher, do not attempt to install it yourself. Adding water and drain lines can be challenging, and the chances are high that you could make a costly mistake. If you have your heart set on putting in a dishwasher, then hire a professional to do the job.

 

Get Your Home Ready For Summer

By Virtual Results

Get Your Home Ready For SummerWho’s ready for summer? While summer is officially still a month away, that doesn’t mean we can’t start dreaming and planning for the season ahead. Summer is one of the best times to enjoy our homes to the fullest. We can finally spend time outside in the sunshine and invite our friends and family over for celebrations both big and small. Here’s what you need to do to get your home ready for the summertime fun ahead!

Clean up the landscaping

Even if you live in a warm climate, winter can give your landscaping a beating. Now is the time to start sprucing it up. Clean up any dead leaves and debris leftover from fall and winter. Tidy up your flower beds by defining the edges and covering them with mulch. Trim trees and bushes and plant perennial and annual plants and flowers to amp up your curb appeal.

Get your air conditioner ready

If you haven’t already, then you’ll soon be turning on the air conditioner. Help ensure your AC runs all summer long by calling HVAC professionals from Chill Pro to do the necessary maintenance now. Turn off the power on your electrical panel and clean up the AC unit, including leaves and branches that may have lodged in it over winter. Use the garden hose to rinse off the coils and repair any wires that have been damaged by weather or animals. You may ask a trusted tune-up service like Friends & Family HVAC / Air Conditioning to guide you with repairs.

If you don’t have an air conditioning system, then this is the right season to consider an air conditioning installation to keep your home cool in hot weather. Experts like this one can help with installation.

Clean out the gutters

Cleaning the gutters is nobody’s favorite job. But it’s essential if you want your home to stay in good condition. Take an afternoon to get up on the ladder and clean the debris out of your gutters. This will help to ensure that rain moves away from the home during a storm. Once you’ve cleaned them, keep an eye on them during storms to check for leaks or damage.

Spruce up your front door

Nothing says “welcome” like a pretty front door! Summer is such a great time to focus on sprucing up your front door. First, check the weather stripping for gaps and repair any that you find with caulk. Tighten the hinges on the door if they have shifted because of temperature changes. Then give your front door a fresh coat of paint in a fun color! It only takes one afternoon to make a huge difference in the look of your home. Once you’ve painted the door, you can accessorize your front porch with a pretty wreath and some potted plants that match your decor.

Clean your outdoor living areas

Finally, it’s time to get your outdoor living areas ready for company! If you have a deck or patio, then use a pressure washer to get rid of the accumulated dust and dirt from the previous year. If you have a wood deck that needs repair, then let it dry and reseal it. It’s also time to scrub down your gas grill so it’s ready for your first barbecue. While you’re at it, wash your outdoor cushions and spray off your outdoor furniture. Add some colorful throw pillows, some hanging lights, and a few flowers and you’ll be ready to entertain!

Compliments of Virtual Results

How To Know It’s Time To Sell

By Virtual Results

How To Know It’s Time To Sell

The real estate market over the past two years has certainly defied expectations. While the pandemic wreaked havoc on many other parts of our lives, it actually caused the real estate market to surge. For many reasons, more and more people decided that it was finally time to buy a home. However, there have been fewer people that have decided it’s time to sell, and there are fewer homes on the market than there are buyers who want them. If you’re a homeowner, how do you know if now is the right time to sell? Here’s what you should ask yourself.

Does the market favor sellers?

First of all, now is a great time to sell because we’re in a seller’s market. This means that there are more buyers in the market than sellers, so sellers typically have the upper hand. When you sell your home in a seller’s market, you’ll have a good chance of making a sizable profit on your home. With mortgage rates on the rise after record lows for the past two years, we may not have a seller’s market for much longer. If you’ve been on the fence, then you should know that it’s time to strike while the iron is still hot.

Are home prices rising?

Another question to consider is home values in your area. Are they on the rise or are they falling? Obviously, it’s best to sell your home when prices keep going up. If you’re curious about home prices in your area, then search for recently sold homes online that are comparable to yours. How much are those comps selling for? If you like the price you see, then it may be a sign that it’s time to sell.

Am I having trouble affording my house?

It’s a terrible feeling knowing that you’re having trouble meeting your financial commitments. If your financial situation has changed in such a way that you’re not able to pay all your monthly bills, then it may be time to sell your home. Selling now means that you can find a home that fits more comfortably in your budget so that you aren’t so stressed.

Does this home meet my current needs?

People’s needs change over time. Those features that you needed in a home when you first moved in may no longer be what you need now. Perhaps you had a growing family but now your kids are off to college. Or maybe you purchased your first home when you were single and now you need more room for the family you hope to have. Perhaps your job changed and you have a longer commute, or you want to live closer to family to care for an aging parent. If your home no longer meets your current needs, then that’s often a sign it’s time to sell.

Do I have enough equity?

Finally, you should consider how much equity you have in your home when you’re thinking about selling. If you sell soon after buying, then you may not have built up much equity in your home. That means you could lose money when you sell, or not have enough leftover from the sale to fund the purchase of your new home. Let your equity help you make your decision about whether or not it’s time to sell.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Signs of Good Resale Value

By Virtual Results

Signs of Good Resale ValueIt may seem counterintuitive to think about selling a home before you’ve even purchased it. But if you want to make a good financial decision when buying a home, then you must consider its resale value. After all, buying a home is one of the biggest financial transactions you’ll make in your lifetime, and it’s an excellent way to build wealth. Why jeopardize that by buying a home that will only decrease in value? But how do you know which homes will have good resale value – and which ones won’t? Here’s what you need to know.

The home is in a great location

You’ve no doubt heard the phrase, “location, location, location!” That’s because there really is nothing more important in real estate than location. Is the home you’re considering in a good neighborhood? Do homes in this area sell quickly and for a profit? Do you see people walking around? Are there interesting places nearby to visit, such as a park or a trendy restaurant? These are all signs that a home is in a great location and will have good resale value down the line.

The home is in excellent condition

Another thing to consider when buying a home is whether or not it is in good condition. Are there any major repairs that will need to be completed to make the home livable? This could include installing a new roof, fixing issues with the foundation, replacing all the plumbing, or repair your broken ac (contact experts like Energy Pro Heating & Cooling for professional guidance). While you may get a home like this for a great price, you must consider how much money you’ll spend making needed repairs and contact air conditioning services for your home. Homes that are already in good shape will be more likely to have decent resale value later. So, replace your old ac unit with Airsheen Services, LLC or similar services like Nance Services before selling your home.

The home is in a quality school district

Even if you don’t have school-age children, it’s important to consider the school district when you’re buying a home. The quality of the school district has a direct impact on the quality of the neighborhood. Those neighborhoods that have good schools are usually in communities that invest in themselves. Homes in good school districts have always been attractive to homebuyers, and you’ll have good resale value later if the home you buy has great schools nearby.

The home is part of a homeowners association (HOA)

Not everyone loves to live in a community governed by a homeowners association (HOA). These types of communities tend to be more restrictive than others. You may have guidelines that need to be followed about what color you can paint your house, where you can park your cars, or how many overnight guests you can have visiting. But communities with HOAs tend to be popular with homebuyers, especially those who want to have a certain lifestyle. That’s why even though it can be challenging in some respects to buy a home that’s part of an HOA, you can bet that when you’re ready to move you’ll be able to sell for a price that will make you smile.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Finding the Right Home

By Virtual Results

Finding the Right Home

The real estate market continues to be tough for buyers as demand is high yet the number of homes for sale remains low. That might make it feel like it will be difficult to impossible to find a home that meets all your needs. Fortunately, if you get very clear about what it is exactly you are looking for in a home, your chances of finding that home will improve dramatically. So how do you go about finding the right home for you? Here’s our best advice.

Know your deal-breakers

The most important thing you can do when you’re searching for your next home is to know what you absolutely need to have. These are your deal-breakers – those amenities that are a must if you’re going to put in an offer on a home. Some of the most popular must-haves might include:

  • Being located in a specific school district.
  • Having a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms.
  • Having space for a private home office.
  • Living close to friends or family.
  • Being located close to work.

Know those things that would be nice to have

Once you’ve determined your deal-breakers, it’s time to consider those features that it would be nice to have in your home. These are the kinds of amenities that would make life at home more pleasant. But if a home you like doesn’t have some of these features, it wouldn’t necessarily prevent you from making an offer. Some of the things that it might be nice to have in a home could include:

  • A backyard pool to keep the kids busy on summer afternoons.
  • Close proximity to local attractions or amenities such as restaurants or grocery stores.
  • A finished basement that can be used as a family area.
  • A wood-burning fireplace, a luxury master bathroom, or an exceptional view.

Don’t be afraid to dream

Once you’ve got your must-haves and your nice-to-haves, it’s time to let yourself dream a little. What does your fantasy home look like? What types of luxuries would you enjoy having at home? If you could have anything at all, then what would it be? This could include things like:

  • A basement wine cellar.
  • A home theater or media room.
  • A tennis court or basketball court.
  • Huge, walk-in closets.
  • A crafting room.
  • A home library.
  • A steam shower or sauna.

Talk to your real estate agent

Finally, once you’ve made your lists, it’s time to talk to your trusted real estate agent. When you work with a professional, you can rely on their experience and knowledge to help guide you through the process. They will make note of your needs, wants – and dreams – to help you find homes that best fit those desires. They’ll use all the tools at their disposal, including their vast network of connections, to pair you with homes that could fit the bill. Once you’ve found the home you love, they’ll work with you to make an offer and help you through every step of the closing process.

Compliments of Virtual Results

Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

By Virtual Results

Use Your Tax Refund Wisely

Is there any better feeling than getting a check you weren’t expecting? If you were fortunate to receive a refund on your taxes this year, then you may be wondering what the best use of that extra money is. If not, you can get help from experts like Academy West Insurance (for tax filing services). For those buying or selling a home, that tax refund can be a huge benefit to you. Here are some ways that you can use your tax refund wisely in the real estate market.

Watch your down payment grow

Saving for a down payment can be one of the biggest obstacles to buying a home, especially when you’re doing it for the first time. That’s why it can be such a huge benefit to use your tax refund to help fund your down payment. It can be just the thing you need to get you started, inspire you to continue saving, or finally push you over the finish line.

Use it to pay for closing costs

One thing that some homebuyers forget to calculate into the cost of buying a home is the fees you’ll be charged at closing. When you buy a home, you can expect to pay up to five percent of the purchase price in closing costs. These can include agent commissions, title searches and insurance, and homeowners insurance, among others.

Pay down existing debt

Is debt keeping you from realizing your dreams of homeownership? Then use your tax refund to help pay down your existing debt including credit card balances and other loans. Having less debt will help you more easily qualify for a home loan and get better terms on that loan. Paying down your debt improves your debt-to-income ratio and credit score, both of which are very important to lenders.

Use it for your earnest money deposit

When you put in an offer on a home, you’ll also make an earnest money deposit. This is a good faith deposit that shows the seller you’re serious about your offer. You can expect to pay up to three percent of the home’s price as your earnest money deposit.

Pay for your home inspection

While some buyers are waiving their rights to an inspection in order to have their offer accepted, this is generally not advised. Getting a home inspection when you’re buying helps you to understand what issues you may be inheriting with a home and can help give you bargaining power should you find any. While prices vary depending on location and home size, you can expect to pay anywhere from $200-$500 for a home inspection.

Make repairs or upgrades

If you’re selling your home, then your tax refund can benefit you as well. Are there any repairs or upgrades you’d like to make before you put your home on the market? Your tax refund can pay for those renovations so that you can help your home stand out from the competition.

Use it to help buy your next home

Finally, sellers can also use their tax refund to help with the purchase of a new home. That money can be used to upsize or downsize and pay for other expenses that are related to the purchase of your new place.

 

Benefits of Working With an Agent When Buying

By Virtual Results

Benefits of Working With an Agent When Buying

We understand how easy it can be to browse homes for sale on the internet. It’s like having the world at your fingertips. But when you start down the path of buying a home, things can quickly get intense. That’s one of the many reasons why working with a professional real estate agent is so important when buying a home. Here are 6 other reasons why working with a pro can greatly enhance the homebuying process.

It’s like having an expert guide

When you’re visiting a new place for the first time, it can be so helpful to have a guide. They can show you all the great places to eat, point out the local attractions you shouldn’t miss, and also clue you in on the things you should avoid. Your real estate agent can offer the same sort of guidance. They’ll let you know all the paperwork that needs to be completed, help you translate the jargon you encounter, and make sure you avoid mistakes and delays.

You’ll get a better price

Even if you consider yourself an expert negotiator, working with a real estate agent will most likely get you a better price on a home. Good agents are experts in their local markets and will know if a home is priced too high, too low, or just right. They’ll know what kind of competition to expect and how to make an attractive offer.

It’ll save you time

Buying a home can sometimes be a long, drawn-out process. But working with an agent can help ensure you get to the closing table as quickly and efficiently as possible. They can help you define exactly what you’re looking for and find homes to tour that meet those needs. This can save you weeks or even months of house hunting.

They can offer invaluable advice

Whether you’re buying for the first time or have been down this road before, an agent can provide invaluable advice. This is also true if you’re moving to a new neighborhood or a new city. Your agent is up to date on all the latest laws and regulations and is extremely knowledgeable about the locations where you’d like to live.

They can help relieve stress

Buying a home can be an intense and emotional process. Our homes are very personal places where we make lasting memories. But they are also one of the biggest financial commitments we will ever make in a lifetime. Having an agent can help to provide you with an objective opinion when needed and get you through those emotional upheavals that are bound to happen during the buying process.

They’ll help you avoid problems with closing

Nearly everyone gets to a point in the closing process where problems arise. Whether it’s issues uncovered by the home inspection, an appraisal that comes in low, or unexpected problems with the title, many things can make your deal go south. When you work with a professional real estate agent, they’ll know what issues may arise and how to best deal with them. A good agent will help ensure that you’re able to deal with just about any obstacle thrown your way.

Compliments of Virtual Results