Kimberly Zecher - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage



Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 8/1/2020

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 Photo by Laura Shaw via Pixabay 

4 Improvements That Increase the Value of Your Home

Home improvement projects add useability, beauty and convenience to your house, and those characteristics make the house more desirable to potential buyers. If you’re considering a home improvement project, here are four that will increase the value of your home.

1. An Addition Increases Square Footage

One of the most impactful home improvements you can make is putting on an addition. Whether a family room, bedroom or home office, an addition adds useable square footage to your house -- and extra space is something that every prospective homebuyer can appreciate. 

While not a perfect measure because value varies with the type of room, you can roughly estimate how much value an addition would have by multiplying the average sale price per square foot in your neighborhood by how many square feet an addition is.

2. A Finished Basement Increases Useable Space

A cheaper alternative to installing an addition, finishing a basement is relatively easy and likewise increases useable space. 

Exactly what constitutes a finished basement can vary. You might simply want some shelves, carpeting and a few games, or you may want a full in-law apartment that’s complete with a bathroom and kitchenette. However you finish your home’s basement, though, the project will add value because anything is more useful than undeveloped storage space.

3. A Complete Kitchen Remodel

If you’re tired of cooking in an outdated kitchen, remodeling your kitchen will improve your day-to-day experience and let you recoup some of your investment. You probably won’t get the full cost of a kitchen remodel back when you sell your home, but you can regain most of the improvement’s cost if you’re wise in the changes that you make. Additionally, a remodeled kitchen can help sell your house faster if you’re in a slow real estate market.

4. A Master Bathroom Remodel

A house’s master bathroom is usually one of the three main rooms that potential homebuyers look at (with the kitchen and master bedroom being the other two). Thus, a master bathroom remodel is an improvement project that many will appreciate and be willing to pay for. 

When you remodel a master bathroom, consider what high-end aesthetics and luxury features would add the most perceived value from someone else’s perspective. Then, pick the ones you think will have the biggest benefit and that you personally like.

Ask a Real Estate Agent

For help deciding how to approach any of these home improvement projects, get in touch with one of our real estate agents. We’re professionals who every day see what attracts prospective homebuyers, and we’d be glad to help you design an improvement that will add true value to your home.





Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 7/25/2020

Photo by Pushok via Pixabay

Do you buy plants for your home – just to find them shriveled up and browning just a few short days later? You may be purchasing plants that require too much care – or that are known for being tricky to keep alive.

Whether you’ve been cursed with a black thumb, have a busy schedule (that barely allows time to care for yourself, let alone plants) or are simply new to house plants, the following varieties may serve you best.

5 Plants that are Tough to Kill

Jade Plant: This emerald beauty looks stunning in just about any planter and is ideal for a desktop or tabletop. It is also nearly impossible to kill with neglect. The jade plant grows so well that simply poking a cutting of it into the soil will result in a new plant.

Air Plants: They don’t need dirt to survive – and need only occasional mists of water. If your plants die because you are too busy to care for them (or you simply forget about them) consider trying some air plants instead. These small beauties are particularly fun to work with, too. Tiny, artisanal pods, planters and baskets designed specifically for air plants can be found from a variety of vendors and make unique home accents.

Barrel Cactus: Most succulents are tough to kill, but this variety is particularly hardy. Round with large spikes, a barrel cactus stores water so it does not need to be cared for often at all. It also has natural defenses against pets and other plant predators, those spikes make it difficult and uncomfortable to pick up, but don’t cause lasting damage. Shallow roots make this one easy to transplant as it grows and ensure it can thrive even if left unpotted for days.

Aloe: This fast-growing, low care beauty has some medicinal properties, too. Just snap off a stem to treat sunburn or other mild burns. While aloe is incredibly easy to grow and care for, it is toxic to pets, so try this one as an office plant if you have pets at home. Short of setting it on fire, you can’t kill this one.

Spider Plant: This is a houseplant staple, and it is easy to see why. Spider plants are powerful air purifiers, very difficult to kill and even produce their own offspring. You can forget to water this one for days at a time (weeks in cooler weather) and it will not only survive, but grow and thrive. Spider plants are inexpensive and available pretty much anywhere plants are sold, so this is a solid choice if you are new to houseplants or have a few victims to show for your plant growing efforts.

Choosing one of these varieties can make it easier for you to enjoy the benefits of having houseplants, without the guilt that comes from throwing away another shriveled, dried up victim.




Categories: indoor garden  


Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 7/18/2020


 Photo by Mohamed Hassan via Pixabay

Even if you love your home and never plan to leave it, there may come a point when you need to put it on the market. The home maintenance tasks you tackle today have a direct impact on your home’s value tomorrow. If you want to protect the value of your home, these are the home maintenance tasks you shouldn't put off.

Keep the Roof in Good Repair

A roof can make or break a home sale. Most roofs will last 20 to 25 years. If yours is nearing the end of that lifespan or is showing signs of distress, start planning for a replacement. Similarly, if you’ve had a storm recently, have the roof inspected, and tap into your insurance coverage for a new roof if needed.

Maintain Your HVAC

Your HVAC system may not be the most attractive part of your home, but it’s one of the most important for your home’s comfort. Keep up with routine maintenance, including filter replacement, air duct cleaning, and yearly maintenance inspections. This will help you get the best possible life out of your system, while also ensuring you can list the home with all of its components when you’re ready to sell.

Freshen the Paint

Not only does a fresh coat of paint make your home look great, but it also helps protect the woodwork in your home from damage due to everyday life. Buy quality paint when you paint, and try to keep up with the current trends while also reflecting your own style. This will keep your home looking attractive while also protecting its value. Keep the interior and exterior painted whenever necessary.

Protect and Cultivate Your Landscaping

A beautiful home with an unkempt yard is going to be worth less than a standard home with a beautiful yard. Your landscaping doesn’t need to be extravagant, but you should spend some time each year keeping it looking its best. This will increase your property’s perceived value down the road.

Appliance Care and Upgrades

Your appliances are something you rely on every day to keep things functioning well in your home. Keep up with their maintenance, and upgrade as needed, to give your home the best possible value. You will need good, working appliances in your home to keep things running smoothly, and potential buyers down the road will appreciate these items as well.

Maintaining your home makes it more enjoyable to live in, and it also makes it more appealing to potential buyers down the road.





Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 7/11/2020

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

If you’re planning to stay in your new home for many years, incorporating certain features into your home's design can make for a smooth transition. While you might not necessarily need these kinds of features immediately, you'll likely find they add convenience to your space. What can you do to make sure your home stays comfortable for you throughout the years? Consider the following ideas that can allow you to comfortably live in your home at any age. 

Grab Bars

Installing grab bars is a good place to start. Grab bars offer support for sitting and standing, especially in bathroom spaces. Common locations for grab bars include on the walls of shower stalls, next to toilets and along hallways. Grab bars are readily available in modern designs and finishes that can seamlessly blend with the other fixtures in your bathroom. They can do double duty holding towels or clothes as well.

Extra Lighting

Introducing light fixtures in dim areas, on stairways and layering light sources is a great way to ensure your home functions well over time. Selecting LED fixtures over conventional ones ensures you won't have to worry about replacing bulbs in high or otherwise awkward locations. Introduce task lighting in the kitchen. This will add to the overall design of your kitchen while also providing a well-lit prep area for cooking and entertaining.

Cabinet Remodeling

Consider adding pull-out shelves or drawers to lower cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom. These allow for much easier access to stored items so you can avoid searching through dark cabinet corners for your favorite pan or baking dish. You may also consider pull-down shelving options for top cabinets that allow for easier access to items stored high out of reach. 

Lever Switches and Handles

Switch out traditional light switches in favor of lever switches or dimmers. Their larger surface area makes them easier to use and adjust. Use lever-type door handles simplifies the action needed to open and close doors. Finally, consider updating cabinet door handles to D-shaped ones that are more comfortable to grab and open.





Posted by Kimberly Zecher on 7/4/2020

For those who want to acquire a stellar house at a budget-friendly price, it pays to work with a diligent real estate agent. In fact, some of the top reasons to hire a diligent real estate agent include:

1. A diligent real estate agent knows all about the housing market.

Are you still unsure about what differentiates a buyer's market from a seller's market? No worries, as a diligent real estate agent can teach you everything you need to know about the housing market.

A diligent real estate agent will dedicate the necessary time and resources to help you become an informed home shopper. That way, you can enter the real estate market with the support and insights that you need to succeed.

Also, a diligent real estate agent is ready to respond to any homebuying concerns and questions. This housing market professional can serve as an expert homebuying resource who can help you achieve the best possible results during the property buying journey.

2. A diligent real estate agent can help you establish realistic homebuying expectations.

Although it may seem simple to look at houses and find one that can serve you well for years to come, the property buying process may prove to be much more complex than you initially thought. However, a diligent real estate agent can help you map out your homebuying journey so you can avoid potential hurdles along the way.

For example, a diligent real estate agent may encourage you to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Because, with a mortgage in hand, you can begin your home search with a clear understanding of how much money you can spend on a house.

A diligent real estate agent may ask you to differentiate between "must-haves" and "wants" for your dream residence. And with a homebuying checklist in hand, you can narrow your home search and accelerate your quest for the perfect residence.

3. A diligent real estate agent can help you handle homebuying negotiations.

Let's face it – homebuying negotiations can be tricky, particularly if you're forced to work with a stubborn home seller. But with a diligent real estate agent at your side, you can get the assistance you need to purchase your dream house at your ideal price.

A diligent real estate agent can negotiate with a home seller on your behalf and keep you up to date at each stage of a negotiation. Then, as homebuying negotiations progress, a diligent real estate agent will be able to offer tips and guidance to help you make informed decisions.

In addition, a diligent real estate agent can help you minimize stress throughout homebuying negotiations. If these negotiations become too stressful, a diligent real estate agent will do everything possible to help you stay calm, cool and collected as well.

If you're planning to buy a home in the near future, hiring a diligent real estate agent is a must. This housing market professional will do what it takes to ensure you can purchase a wonderful residence that matches or exceeds your expectations.




Categories: Buying a Home   buying tips