20 Low-Cost Ways to Spruce Up Your Home

Make your home more appealing for yourself and for potential buyers with these quick and easy tips

1. Trim bushes so they don't block windows and cut down on light.
2. Buy a new doormat.
3. Put a pot of bright flowers (or a small evergreen in winter) on your porch.
4. Put new doorknobs on your front door.
5. Put a fresh coating on your driveway.
6. Edge the grass around walks and trees.
7. Keep your garden tools out of site.
8. Be sure kids put away their toys.
9. Buy a new mailbox.
10. Upgrade your outside lighting.
11. Use warm, incandescent light bulbs for a homey feel.
12. Polish or replace your house numbers.
13. Clean your gutters.
14. Put out potpourri or burn scented candles.
15. Buy new pillows for the sofa.
16. Buy a flowering plant and put in a window you pass by frequently.
17. Make a centerpiece for your table with fruit or artificial flowers.
18. Replace heavy curtains with sheer ones that let in more light.
19. Buy new towels.
20. Put a seasonal wreath on your door.

KROWNE REALTY @ 407-823-8855
12 Tips for Hiring a Remodeling Contractor

1. Get at least three written estimates.
2. Get references and call to check on the work. If possible, go by and visit earlier jobs.
3. Check with the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau for complaints.
4. Be sure that the contract states exactly what is to be done and how change orders will be handled.
5. Make as small a down payment as possible so you won't lose a lot if the contractor fails to complete the job.
6. Be sure that the contractor has the necessary permits, licenses, and insurance.
7. Be sure that the contract states when the work will be completed and what recourse you have if it isn't. Also remember that in many instances you   
can cancel a contract within three business days of signing it.
8. Ask if the contractor's workers will do the entire job or whether subcontractors will do parts.
9. Get the contractor to indemnify you if work does not meet any local building codes or regulations.
10. Be sure that the contract specifies the contractor will clean up after the job and be responsible for any damage.
11. Guarantee that materials used meet your specifications.
12. Don't make the final payment until you're satisfied with the work.

floridaremodelingcontractors.com  and www.contractor.com
Tips for Pricing Your Home

•Consider comparables. What have other homes in your neighborhood sold for recently? How do       they compare to yours in terms of size, upkeep,
and amenities?
•Consider competition. How many other houses are for sale in your area? Are you competing against new homes?
•Consider your contingencies. Do you have special concerns that would affect the price you'll receive? For example, do you want to be able to move in
four months?
•Get an appraisal. For a few hundred dollars, a qualified appraiser can give you an estimate of your home's value. Be sure to ask for a market-value
appraisal. To locate appraisers in your area, contact The Appraisal Institute (www.appraisalinstitute.org) or ask your REALTOR® for some
•Ask a lender. Since most buyers will need a mortgage, it's important that a home's sale price be in line with a lender's estimate of its value.
•Be accurate. Studies show that homes priced more than 3 percent over the correct price take longer to sell.
•Know what you'll take. It's critical to know what price you'll accept before beginning a negotiation with a buyer.

Krowne Realty has dedicated this page to help all homeowners and sellers of real
estate keep their property in the best condition it can be. After all, for most, your
home is the most valuable asset you will ever own and keeping it in tip top shape will
not only make it a comfortable and enjoyable place to live but it will make it that
much easier when you are ready to sell and insure top dollar in return. Check back
often for articles and tips on ways to keep your home updated and in top condition.
Remodeling - Decide The Why And How Before You Start
By Stan Kazwell
So you are thinking about doing some remodeling. That is a great idea. It is part of the fun and work
of having your own home. It can be very rewarding and profitable. Depending on what and how you
do it, it can also be a mistake. Before you start, it is important that you understand why you are

Reason #1

Are you doing it simply because having your dream kitchen will make you happy?

Reason #2

Are you doing it to improve the value of your property and thus your net worth?

Reason #3

Both 1 & 2

Use the answer to this question as a guide as to how you go about doing your remodeling job. Here is
a national statistic according to Realtor Magazine Online. If you spend $42,660 to completely remodel
your kitchen, it will add 79.4% or $33,890. to the value of your home. That is a loss of $8,770. in real

That makes the why and how you remodel very important issues. If you want to have the beautiful
kitchen simply because it will make you happy, then go ahead and remodel away. It will be worth it
because after all, happiness is a very valuable commodity.

If intending to improve the value of your property in real terms is any part of the reason that you are
remodeling, then you may need to do it differently. You will need to think more like a real estate
investor who buys and sells so called fixer uppers for a living. According to Realtor Magazine Online,
these are some of the things you need to consider.

1- What is my neighborhood like? This is an important question because when homes are appraised,
they use the recent sales of homes in your area as a comparison. A $20,000 renovation could add
$50,000 value in one neighborhood and $5000. in another. Being the best home on your block is
“never a good idea because it makes the house more expensive than the others and therefore harder
to sell.”

2- Don’t try to change the style of your home. It often does not workout.

3- Usually it is a bad idea to change the purpose of the room. "Keep kitchens as kitchens and baths
as baths.”

4- People generally underestimate by “20 or 30 percent” the time and dollars the remodeling will take.

5- I say, doing as much as you can do yourself is a great idea. It can save you a lot of money and be
a lot of fun. If you don’t know how to do something, home improvement centers can be very helpful.
Realtor Magazine has different advice. They say, “Unless you have first rate skills hire someone who
does.” No matter who you agree with, the bottom line is it must look good.

6- “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. Don’t waste money on renovations that won’t pay off.”

7- Proper home maintenance is always of first priority. Don’t delay painting, fixing windows, trimming
trees and “cleaning the gutters.”

If you don’t want to pay more for remodeling than the added value of the property will be, do some
research. Ask a realtor or appraiser for their advice. Find out what your house is worth now and what
it will be worth after you remodel. Get estimates on the work from several contractors. Go to your local
home improvement center for prices and advice. Talk to a real estate agent. Consider what you can
do yourself and what you can’t. A little homework can help you maximize each dollar spent on your
remodeling job. Remodeling your home is really a great idea, as long as you know why you are doing
it and how you are doing it. Copyright Stan Kazwell Jr.

Stan Kazwell Jr. is the president of Kazwell Financial Services, Inc a mortgage company located in
Port Charlotte, FL He writes a monthly newsletter on financial issues and co-host the “Real Estate
Charlotte” radio show heard in southwest Florida on WCCF-AM, NewsRadio 1580. For more articles
and special reports on mortgage financing, go to

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Stan_Kazwell