Cheryl Caldwell - William Raveis - The Dolores Person Group



Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 1/31/2020

Making a good first impression on prospective home buyers is the key to getting your house sold within a relatively short period of time. Once your house is on the market, you'll want to make sure any major flaws, aesthetic issues, and potential buyer turnoffs have been fully addressed before the first prospects walk through your front door.

Although serious house hunters often return for a second -- and sometimes third -- walkthrough of your home, first impressions determine whether they'll be back for another look.

Since time is of the essence and you may be on a limited home improvement budget, it's necessary to prioritize the projects that will have the most impact on the image you project. When it comes to making cost-effective decisions on preparing your house for showings, your real estate agent can provide helpful insights and objective advice. Seasoned agents can size up a property within minutes and identify ways to improve the look and feel of your home. Although every homeowner is going to have a different set of priorities and issues to deal with, there are a few focal points that would apply to just about everyone.

Curb appeal: To attract the maximum number of prospects to your home (and to put them in a receptive state of mind when viewing your house), it's essential that your property looks well maintained. In addition to having a manicured lawn and bushes that are neatly trimmed, your curb appeal also depends on the condition of your driveway, walkway, and house foundation. The appearance of weeds, cracked surfaces, and peeling or faded paint are sure to be seen as "red flags" to many people and will detract from the impression your home conveys.

Clutter control: Getting a handle on clutter in and around your house is a vital aspect of enhancing its appearance and marketability. Whether you're dealing with storage areas that are jam-packed to the hilt, too much furniture in your living room, or a front yard that's littered with bicycles, lawn equipment, toys and junk vehicles, clutter is a visual cue to people that "something is wrong here!" Clutter inside your house can cause rooms to look smaller and living space to appear as chaotic and uninviting. Even clutter in garages, basements, closets, and attics can send the wrong message to potential house hunters. On the other hand, uncluttered space is like "a breath of fresh air," and can go a long way toward winning over one or more interested prospects.

General recommendations: While everyone's situation is different and unique, cleanliness, proper room lighting, and basic home staging techniques can help maximize your chances for a successful showing. Applying a fresh coat of paint, where needed, also increases the eye-appeal of everything from your front steps and hallways to bedrooms, bathrooms, and kitchen areas. Thoroughly steam-cleaning carpets and refinishing faded hardwood floors can also be cost-effective ways to bring out the full potential of your home





Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 7/20/2018

When you stop and think about it, there are a lot of aspects of our lives that need continual organizing. The ideal scenario is to set up an organizing system when you first move into a new home, and then maintain it on a daily or weekly basis. Unfortunately, many people wait to organize their closets, pantries, or home offices until those areas are in a state of utter chaos. By then, the clutter has taken on a life of its own! Not only is it difficult to find things you're looking for, but your frustration can spill over into other aspects of your life. Kitchen Organizing Tips Being organized is the bedrock of a well-managed life. While it's far from a panacea, the results of organizing your home and work space can be far reaching. Take your refrigerator, for example. How many times has perfectly good food been wasted because it was pushed back into a corner and forgotten about until it turned into a "science experiment"? Although refrigerators are designed with organization in mind, it's all too easy to throw vegetables in the meat drawer and haphazardly wrap up leftovers without labeling them. As a side note, if you write the current date on the label, you'll be able to keep track of how long it's been in the fridge and whether it's time to throw it away. (Note: The U.S. Department of Agriculture advises that cooked leftovers be used within four days. Its food safety "window" for raw poultry and ground beef is even shorter: only one or two days.) Whether your goal is to organize your refrigerator, kitchen cabinets, bedroom closets, or garage, the benefits are worth the time and energy. Before getting started, though, it's helpful to make a trip to a local office supply outlet, kitchen retailer, or dollar store to pick up an assortment of small containers, canisters, drawer dividers, a marking pen, and labels. The Benefits of Organizing Your Home Getting started is the hardest aspect of home organizing, but there are many sound reasons for taking the initiative:

  • Improving the appearance of your home rewards you with a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of personal satisfaction.
  • When you organize closets, cabinets, or other storage areas, you'll stumble upon things you thought you misplaced or lost, long ago.
  • You'll get rid of miscellaneous junk and clutter, which will free up space for things you want to save, refer to, or use in the near future.
  • Organizing your household supplies, tools, and kitchen accessories will also prevent you from having to buy replacement items that you already have. Knowing where things are will save you time, money, and aggravation!
Maintaining a Semblance of Order Getting your family to clean and organize their own rooms and work spaces is a separate challenge, but setting a positive example is one of the first steps. In the case of children, clear expectations need to be set and daily routines established. When all else fails, bribery has been know to work, too!





Posted by Cheryl Caldwell on 9/1/2017

Depending on its condition, a basement can be a mixed blessing. On one hand, basements can provide an abundance of storage space to help keep your home organized. On the other hand, basements can be plagued with water leaks, excess moisture, and mold growth.

Some solutions to wet basement problems can be expensive, such as installing French drains, perimeter trenches, or exterior waterproof membranes. If you're considering buying a house that may have basement moisture problems or water damage, a good home inspector can identify these issues beforehand and let you know how serious they are.

Moisture Control Tips

Relatively simple solutions to wet basement problems include buying a dehumidifier. A dehumidifier extracts excess water from the air and can help prevent mold growth and moisture damage to your belongings. Ideally, a home basement should be a place where you can safely store everything from clothing and holiday supplies to tools and family heirlooms. A humidity meter, also called a hygrometer, can be a good way to keep track of relative humidity (RH) in your basement. Whether you'd want to buy a cheap one or a more costly model depends on the value of the items you want to protect.

The EPA's Energy Star program recommends maintaining a humidity range in your home of between 30% and 50% to prevent bacterial and mold growth. (For homeowners living in colder climates, it may be necessary to keep the RH level below 40% to prevent window condensation.) Note: If you're storing moisture-sensitive items like wooden musical instruments, important documents, or cigars, it's vital to carefully monitor humidity levels and follow all recommendations for optimal care and preservation. (Depending on the situation, it may also be necessary to keep track of other climate control factors, such as room temperature, dust, and air quality.)

What to Do About Clutter

Another common basement problem that often develops after homeowners have lived in the house for several years is clutter and disorganization. The ideal scenario is to set up an organization system in the basement immediately after moving into a house. In the real world, however, many people tend to postpone unpacking moving boxes and allow clutter to accumulate over a period of years.

The solution may consist of buying shelving units for the basement, setting aside and organizing things you want to keep, and dispensing with items that no longer serve your needs. Options for getting rid of unwanted stuff may include holding a garage sale, donating old belongings to charitable organizations, giving them away to friends and relatives, or paying a junk removal service to haul them away.

Although keeping your basement dry, organized, and clutter free is an ongoing task, the benefits almost always outweigh the short-term inconvenience.







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