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Articles Tagged "Home improvement tips"

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January
30

Solar Panels - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

Thinking of how you might save a little money in 2023? How about cutting some energy costs? In our region, where the heating season can be rather long, we must cut back on electricity, gas, or heating oil use to realize cost savings. Although it's not easy to save when the weather is cold, there are various means to reduce energy bills. Surprisingly, one of the best ways to cut down on electricity use is by adding solar panels.

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October
31

Repairs Before Listing - Laffey Real Estate

With home values at historic highs, many homeowners are rushing to put their houses on the market to take advantage of the increase in their equity. But our real estate agents want to caution sellers that hasty decisions can mean necessary repairs can go unidentified and delay closing the sale. A pre-inspection can be a worthwhile investment and reveal issues that can be resolved before listing.

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October
3

No Demo Renovation Projects - Long Island, NY - Laffey Real Estate

If you're craving a home overhaul, you may hesitate to go through a demolition's time, expense, upheaval, and mess. You can still make your home more beautiful and functional with a renovation project that avoids many of the negatives associated with a demo.
  
Our real estate agents suggest 10 tips for a successful "no-demo" reno project.

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September
2

The purpose of showing your home is to hook a buyer. You want the buyers to come through your house and be impressed - so impressed in fact, that they're ready to make an offer! You'll have one chance to make a great first impression on the potential buyers, so make sure to follow these five helpful tips to really make it count!

  1. Focus on the outside. Make sure that you don't neglect the outside of your home. Curb appeal can make or break the odds of someone even bothering to get out of the car to come in. If they pull up and see a home with a lawn that obviously needs edging and has an unkempt flower bed, they're going to wonder what else hasn't been cared for properly. You want the outside of your home to be spotless. Clean the siding, the windows, and the doors. Make sure there are no dirt smudges, no cobwebs and that anything that needs painting has been spiffed up. 

  1. Take yourself out of the house. That means that you want to take out all the personal stuff. Remove the family photos from the wall or tables. You want the home to look neutral so that the potential buyers can look at your house and picture it as themselves living there. Everything should be as neutral as possible in terms of personal items. 

  1. Remove all the extra clutter you see at first glance. If you look around, it'll amaze you at how much stuff you've accumulated over the years. Some of it might very well be important, but that doesn't mean that your potential buyers should see it. When you have a lot of clutter, it shrinks the living space of the house. It makes it look and feel cramped and smaller. Many homeowners get something called house blindness. They've lived in the home for so long with the same clutter that they don't even really see it anymore. But a stranger will always notice. So clean out your house and make the space as big as possible.

  1. If you have a pet, no one that walks through your house should be able to notice it exists. That means no cat litter box, no dog to jump on anyone, no food sitting around in a dish. Your home should not have any pet odors. Having a clean house that's odor free is a big selling point. You don't want to lose a possible deal just because they can smell your pet's presence or your pet makes a bad impression.

  1. Stage your home! You can hire a professional or you can do it yourself. Stage your living areas in a way that shows off your home. You can rent furniture to make your home furnishings look good if you don't use a stager. Someone who knows how to stage a house knows how to play up the best features of your home and knows what to bring in or get rid of to make the entire house appeal to a buyer. 

First impressions are HUGE when showing you home to potential buyers, but by following the simple tips above you will be well on your way to making a great impression and, hopefully, receiving multiple offers!  (And if you are at all anxious about this important step, just reach out to a trusted real estate agent in your area who can help guide you through this process!)

May
23

Summer Outdoor Entertaining - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

As we approach the warmest time of the year, adjust your outdoor space to match the summer. Your outdoor space is more valuable during summer, and you need to get it ready in anticipation of entertaining your friends and family. Hosting a festive outdoor party filled with fun and laughter involves more than moving your indoor party to your patio. Our real estate agents recommend these tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer entertaining.

  1. Up the Ambience by Adding Outdoor Lighting
    Most outdoor events begin in the evening and transition into the night. Therefore, it's important to have adequate lighting. Create some ambiance by adding outdoor lighting like garden stake lights to light up pathways. Backyard uplighting or pool lighting will light up the night and add a beautiful aesthetic. You can choose to add the tiki torches, a summer classic, or the battery-operated candles. Light some citronella candles around the seating area to keep bugs away.

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April
4

Update a Galley Kitchen - Laffey Real Estate

A galley kitchen can seem small and dark if not utilized properly. In reality, it's actually one of the most functional designs for a kitchen since everything you need while you cook is at most a few steps away, if not right in arm's reach. How, then, to make this design look more welcoming? The difference is all in the details, as our real estate agents will show you.

  • Clear the Way
    Having a lot of stuff in the way as you traverse the kitchen will make it feel more cramped. Avoid a lot of clutter, such as too many rugs, and for reaching upper cabinets, invest in footstools that will fold up and stow neatly out of the way. If you have a bar, make sure that bar stools can tuck neatly under it when not in use. Galley kitchens look best without a lot of visual interruptions.

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March
28

DIY Day Projects - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

While whole-house renovations make your house more attractive to buyers, they are expensive and will eat into your profits. Fortunately, there are DIY upgrades that can boost your home's value. DIY Day is the perfect time to try your hand at these projects recommended by our real estate agents.

  1. Repaint Your Walls
    Walls in a lived-in home often have visible stains, scuffs, or writing in households with children. A fresh coat of paint hides these imperfections, refreshes your home, and makes it more impressive to buyers. Additionally, painting is reasonably cheap, and you can quickly repaint your walls over the weekend.

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March
14

Decorating Style - Sell a Home - Laffey Real Estate

Home decorating trends are constantly changing, and staying up to date with home designs is essential for anyone looking to sell. The last two years have brought substantial changes to how we live. As life eases back to normalcy, new home trends are popping up while designers retire other designs. Our real estate agents have the exclusive scoop on the hottest trends to refresh your decorating style below.

What's In?

2022 is an exciting year for home designs, thanks to trends like the following.

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July
12

Ceiling Fans - Homeowners - Laffey Real Estate

When you're decorating your new home, it can seem like there are so many style choices and decorating rules to follow. One choice that everyone seems to have an opinion about is ceiling fans. Even though some people feel they're outdated, ceiling fans do serve an important function, and our real estate agents can affirm that plenty of buyers and homeowners appreciate having them. There are plenty of on-trend designs and updated finishes available so ceiling fans can look great in any style of home. 

Benefits of ceiling fans

If you don't have ceiling fans, here's why you might want to add them, even if you're selling soon. And if you already have them, you may want to update them rather than removing them completely. 

  • All-year temperature control. In warm weather, run the fan to circulate the air and create a breeze to cool down the room. In cold weather, when the heat is on, running the fan in reverse helps push the warmer air down, making the room temperature more comfortable and allowing the heating system to operate more efficiently. They're also a great addition in places like Long Island, where you'll get a few unseasonably warm days before you really want to switch on the air conditioner for the season. It's much easier just to switch on a fan for a few hours.

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June
28

Lush Lawn - Sell a Home - Laffey Real Estate

A lush lawn can be a real booster when it comes to your home's selling price, as our real estate agents will tell you. That's good news, but attaining a beautiful lawn requires some work and commitment. Here are some tips that will guide you toward creating the lawn of your dreams.

  1. Improve the soil
    Lawns need good soil to look healthy. Be sure that your soil's pH (the measure of the acidity or basicity of the soil) is right for the kind of grass you want to grow. Soil test kits can yield the pH, and you can use amendments to fix it. You may need to till the soil if it is exceptionally hard, and perhaps adding some good quality soil.

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April
12

Front Yard Spring Makeover - Laffey Real Estate

Is it time for a spring makeover for your front yard? It is the "face" of your home, and to passersby, it is an indication of what the inside of your home looks like. An unkempt yard gives the impression of a home that is just as messy and disordered, while a well-maintained one builds the expectation of an orderly, tidy home.

Along with spring cleaning your home, consider doing a spring makeover for your front yard. The weather is perfect for it, and so are the bright, uplifting plants and flowers that come with the season. The following guide will take you through how to do your makeover:

  • Take stock of what you need
    When you get started, you want to keep going without stopping to get supplies. You can do that by taking stock of what you need and getting everything before starting. Start from one corner of your yard and work toward the other, working from the top down. Start with the exterior walls of the front of your house and decide what you would like to do here: Would you like to plant climbing plants or vines, and would you like them to be flowered or not? Perhaps the exterior walls could do with a fresh coat of paint.

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December
29

Kitchen Lighting - Homeownership - Laffey Real Estate

Ask any of our real estate agents, and they'll tell you the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. If you want to enhance your kitchen space, adding some under-cabinet lighting is one of the best ways to do it. This easy and relatively inexpensive project can completely transform your kitchen! Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Evaluate Your Space
    Before you begin your lighting project, you need to get a feel for how much space you have under your cabinets. You'll also want to consider the type of lighting you'll use and the location of your workspace. Make sure you think everything through and take careful measurements. Armed with this information, you can start planning out your project.

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August
24

Outdoor Kitchen Tips - Luxury Living - Laffey Real Estate

Pools, spas, and meticulously manicured lawns are lovely but few backyard amenities are as exceptional as an outdoor kitchen. An outdoor kitchen is a staple of luxury living. Whether it's poolside, atop a patio, or used to create the transitional indoor-outdoor space that so many homeowners desire, the outdoor kitchen is a fantastic feature. Unfortunately, it's also one of the easiest luxe renovations to botch.

When you're transforming your outdoor space with luxurious upgrades, it's important to make sure your investment is protected before, during, and after the project is completed. Our real estate agents have identified five of the most common mistakes homeowners make when installing an outdoor kitchen and how you can avoid them.

  1. Mistake: Not Planning the Project Professionally
    Solution: Hire A Consultant

    How do you turn the outdoor kitchen of your dreams into a reality? You're going to need some help. Even if you plan on completing most aspects of the project yourself, you should still consult a team of professionals before you begin. This project will involve the installation of ventilation, electrical, gas, and water lines, all of which aren't elements an amateur should attempt to handle alone. Bringing in a professional consultant to help you detail the logistics of your vision will help you avoid mistakes.

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June
22

Remodeling ROI - Laffey Real Estate

When that "For Sale" sign goes up in your back yard, you may be ready to say farewell to your house. You may have already begun packing. So it may seem a little odd to consider remodeling at such a time. Why go through the process of hiring contractors and paying for repairs that you may never enjoy? But when you sell your home, you aren't just saying goodbye to your house. You're hoping to convince someone else to call it home for the first time. Here are the remodeling projects our real estate agents recommend considering when preparing your home for sale:

  • Fix It, Don't Forget It 
    Materials in poor condition should be at the top of your list for repairs or replacements. If surfaces are chipped, peeling, or cracked, it doesn't matter if they're in a style that's currently en vogue. Surfaces that show signs of water or mold damage, even if the underlying cause has been addressed, will prompt buyers to be wary of problems beneath. If you have a material that is rare or old, have an expert examine it to determine the best course of action. Some original materials might need to be preserved or restored by specialists.

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April
27

Prep for Landscaping - Laffey Real Estate

Spring has sprung, and many homeowners will soon be updating their landscaping to make the most of it. Our real estate agents at Laffey Real Estate are all about curb appeal, and there are few things that can refresh a home's exterior like all-new landscaping.

Apart from that, landscaping gives you the opportunity for more fun around the home. Whether you are planting a tree or setting up a garden, there's nothing else quite like watching things grow. And getting ready for a new outdoor adventure isn't all that hard.

In just a few steps, you can have your home ready for fresh landscaping. Here's how you do it all the right way.

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March
30

Create Home Workspace - Laffey Real Estate

If you've suddenly found yourself among the many remote workers around the country, you can easily create brilliant work-friendly spaces from a spare corner, a few feet of wall, or even in your basement. To help you create a dedicated workspace that is welcoming, smart, and functional, our real estate agents recommend the following tips:

  1. Ensure Comfortable Seating
    Comfortable seating doesn't mean bringing in a sofa, beanbag chair, or other furniture that can make you dose off. Simply get a decent office chair that you can comfortably sit on for a few hours. An ergonomically designed chair with back support will help promote good posture and keep you comfortable and fully alert.

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March
16

Bonus Room - Sell a Home - Laffey Real Estate

With homebuyers placing a high premium on space and flexibility, a bonus room can be a definite advantage if you're selling your home. But rather than leaving them virtually empty or using them for storage, sellers should stage bonus rooms to show them off to their maximum advantage.

Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to help prospective buyers feel inspired when they see your bonus room:

  • Consider your likely buyer
    Tailor your bonus room to the type of buyer who is likely to be interested in your home. If it's likely to appeal to a family with young children, consider making your bonus room into a nursery, playroom, or extra bedroom. But if your neighborhood attracts a lot of young professionals, your bonus room may be more appealing if it's transformed into a home office.

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March
9

Stand-Out Spring Home Listing - Laffey Real Estate

Springtime is almost here and that means prime real estate season is right around the corner. If you're thinking about selling your home, you're in good company. Our real estate agents are already working with many sellers who are preparing to list their homes in the coming months.

Want to make sure your house stands out from the crowd? You'll need to put in a bit of extra effort. Start with these six tips. 

  1. Update Your Curb Appeal
    After a long, hard winter the outside of your home is sure to need a bit of TLC. Make sure you put your best foot forward by sprucing up your landscaping and adding some extra touches to make your outdoor space more appealing. This includes:

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December
9

Living Room Staging - Laffey Real Estate

Our real estate agents often get asked for their best tips to help sell a home. Staging a home to sell is an important step, and one that will pay off in the end. If you have to stage one room in your home make that your living room. It's normally one of the first things people see when they enter the home, so it's your chance to make a great first impression.

  • Get rid of the extra stuff. This should be going on throughout your home. In the living room remove extra, unmatching, or furniture that is the wrong size for the room. Rearrange what's left or replace with something more appropriate. Remove and store collectibles, family photos, and any extreme décor choices. Reducing the amount of stuff in a room immediately looks better, allows more light to shine, and helps buyers imagine how their own stuff will look in the room.

  • Patch and Paint. You should already have been at least thinking about repainting everywhere, but if not, do the living room before you stage it.  Fresh paint will make the room cleaner and brighter, a must for staging success.

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March
11

Long Island Curb Appeal
When it's time to sell your Long Island home, you know you need to get it shaped up and ready to shine. Your first concern should be curb appeal, or how appealing your home is to a potential buyer driving by. Some experts even say good curb appeal can help you get 10% more in the final price.

You might think of asking a friend to give you an assessment of how your home looks. Make sure you get the honest friend; not the one who tells says you look great after that awful haircut.

Our REALTORS® offer these six tips of where to start to make your curb appeal pop:

  1. Mailbox
    Start at the curb and take a good look at your mailbox. Is it scuffed and dinghy, looking as though it is apathetic about holding the mail? Give it a good cleaning, or if it is too far gone, consider replacing it. At least re-paint the post and replace the house numbers with a style that matches your overall house.

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December
11

Long Island Home Open House
Your home reflects the love and attention you have poured into it over the years. Colors and furnishings that make you feel at home may not be as attractive to a prospective buyer. When you prepare for an open house, consider how it looks from a buyer's perspective. You can easily augment what you have or make minor adjustments to improve its marketability.

Our real estate agents have compiled a list of six straightforward steps to spruce up your Long Island home for an open house.

  1. Clear away the clutter
    This can be an excellent opportunity to begin purging in anticipation of a move. Pack up your personal trinkets, photos, and other items that you don't use on a daily basis. Clear off the countertops and coffee table. You want buyers to see the home, not the stuff. Store the boxes neatly in a closet or the garage.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

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