New Construction Doesn’t Mean Problem-Free

I’ve heard it many times on showings or while having conversations with people — the assumption that a new build won’t come with any problems. Unfortunately, new doesn’t mean problem-free. In fact, new homes will likely have some issues whether it be missed construction items or construction defects. Even with an inspection of the home, some issues may not be uncovered until the buyer moves in which can be frustrating. I recently read an article from one of the inspection companies I work with that brings to light some of the common problems with new construction.

Read the article from Scott Homes here: https://bit.ly/2xzn7IR

To highlight some of the items they discuss:

  1. Dirty duct systems
  2. Doors that don’t close properly
  3. Windows issues
  4. Incorrect plumbing or appliance hook-ups
  5. Overlooked painting

If you are thinking of a new build, this article is worth a read. If you need help with your home search in Colorado, I would love to help! Please reach out via the contact tab here or email me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.


Hottest Home Trends of 2019

With this post, I am not trying to pretend like I am a design expert, but being a REALTOR® and someone who is interested in “all things home”, I do read a lot of home articles, posts, and blogs.  Lately, I feel like one after another is about the hottest trends to expect for 2019 – from paint colors to interior design, furniture design, and overall home. If you have plans for redecorating or want to refresh some of your spaces, it can’t hurt to know what experts believe will be resonating in 2019.  I have gathered together some of the more valuable articles I have read and pulled out a few consistent points I am seeing across sources.

Predictions for what will be hot in 2019:

  • More bold, vivid, high-contrast patterns and more vibrant accent colors
  • Pantone declares Living Coral is the color of the year. What it conveys: Life-affirming, optimism, joy.
  • Earth tones: all versions of sand and earthy colors like ochre, burnt gold, and terracotta like Sherwin-Williams’ 2019 color Cavern Clay
  • Art Deco influence to become more prominent in the coming year
  • Ornate & textured walls and wallpaper
  • Antiques and handmade, custom pieces – return to handcrafted authenticity
  • Live Greenery and biophilia (the innate tendency in human beings to focus on life and lifelike process)
  • Innovative uses and mixing of metals 
  • Matte Black

If you have some time to read more for yourself, here are a few of the best articles I have read for 2019 predictions: 

All in all, I believe what is most important is that you make design decisions that resonate well with you & your family.  If you aren’t a fan of a certain style, don’t try to force it because some people say it is “in style.”  And lastly, I still stand by the importance of timeless design decisions for major renovations if you want to maximize the resale value of your home which I touch upon in my last blog post:  Home Renovation Projects that Boost Resale Value of Your Home.

Happy planning and decorating!

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If you or someone you know has any real estate needs within Colorado, I would love to help!  I support buyers and sellers primarily in the Denver-Boulder areas. Please reach out via the contact form below to start a conversation about how I can help you:

 

 


Home Renovation Projects that Boost Resale Value of Your Home

Many home buyers that are considering home renovation projects usually want to make sure they are investing in something that will raise home values and appeal to home buyers. Even if there are no plans to sell soon, it is wise to keep resale in mind for home renovation projects.  Prioritizing your spending into areas of the home that will help boost resale values is a smart approach.  Read more for tips on how to help with your planning:

  • Kitchens.  Nearly every buyer is pleased when they see a beautiful kitchen, even buyers that aren’t afraid of projects.  Kitchen remodels can be expensive so even if the rest of the house needs work, buyers are happy to see that one project checked off the list.  If you are planning any home project, starting with a kitchen update really should pay off in the end.   Overall make sure the layout is functional – does the flow work for cooking & entertaining?  Know that plenty of counterspace & storage is important to buyers and many will be pleased with an island in the kitchen as long as it doesn’t make the space too cramped.  New energy-efficient appliances will benefit you as a homeowner and look appealing to future buyers.  Finally, if you are going to update things like cabinets, countertops, the backsplash, and lighting try to stay with design decisions that are timeless.  Any unique features that only appeal to a certain type of audience will narrow the pool of buyers that appreciate the work put into the kitchen.
  • Bathrooms.  After the kitchen is done, move onto the bathrooms.  Same rule applies with keeping the updates appealing to a broad audience.  You want to create an attractive space that has a clean and updated feel.   You can still have fun with your updates – maybe consider an accent wall behind the vanity or toilet or new, modern mirrors & lighting.  Keep in mind that many buyers still want at least one tub in their home so don’t plan to get rid of all bathtubs in your house, no matter how trendy those stand-alone showers are.
  • Energy efficiency.  The next item that will pay off for both you as a homeowner & for resale is how efficient the home is.  Check the age of the furnace or boiler, hot water heater, & A/C units – consider updating with new models that work more efficiently. Leaky doors and windows affect your heating and cooling bills and is something buyers will notice.  If you don’t want to replace your windows & doors, you can update weather-stripping or reseal the windows to see if that helps.  If you have poor insulation in the house, you can improve the quality of the insulation.
  • Exterior.  First impression makes a difference so investing in exterior updates will be beneficial as well.  Consider an exterior paint refresh, especially if you have chipping or fading paint. If you are looking for a change, but don’t want to repaint the whole house, choose a fresh new color for the front door.  For an affordable update that makes a big difference, swap out any exterior lights that may not be working or are outdated and replace with a fresh, modern look.  Lastly, investing in your yard and garden will help you better enjoy your home & have buyers see that you not only have a great house, but a great property.  Be careful with adding unique additions that may turn away future buyers such as an elaborate water feature.  A koi pond, for example, may look beautiful to some, but to others it may just look like a lot of work or even a dangerous hazard to a buyer like a family with young children.
  • Look at your floors.  If you have carpet, tiling, or wood floors that have seen better days, investing in an upgrade or refresh for the floors will be a smart decision. Flooring can really stand out — making the whole house feel clean & inviting or put off the opposite effect if the floors are in bad shape.   Focus on what you can afford – making sure to at least to update the flooring in the rooms you renovate (such as the kitchen & bathrooms) and expect to have to price the house accordingly if the floors in other areas of the home really need work.

If resale value is a major concern of yours, talking to a local REALTOR® to get their advice before starting the project can be very beneficial.  If you are in the Boulder/Denver area, I would love to help!  Please reach out via the contact information below or email me at beth@goodacreproperties.com.


Thinking of Selling Your Home? Top 5 Things to do First

The idea of selling your home usually comes upon slowly as you start to think about life changing events that may make you want to sell.  Possibly your family is growing and you need more space or you’re going to be empty nesters and would prefer to downsize. Whatever your scenario is, having a plan going into listing your home is a great idea. Here are my top 5 things you will want to think about before listing your home for sale:

  1. Talk with a REALTOR® you trust.  My advice is that it is never too early to loop in a REALTOR®.  They can give you insight on things like the best month to list your home, some suggestions for updates to make to your home to maximize your profits, and prepare you for what to expect.
  2. If you will be listing a few months out, now is a good time to start sprucing up your home.  Tackle those projects that you know must be done — from cosmetic updates that will be eyesores to potential buyers to the big items that you know may come up in an inspection.  It can’t hurt to service items like the central A/C unit, furnace, and have the chimney cleaned.
  3. Organize dates & documents that buyers may request like age of the roof, age of appliances, dates of latest services, HOA documents, typical monthly utility bills, and warranties.  This will help answer questions from serious buyers considering purchasing your home & save time during the transaction.  You cannot hide from bad news with your house — seller’s failure to disclose known material defects with the house may result in legal liability.
  4.  Consider your options for “where to next” and plan for the scenario where your home sells fast.  If you are planning on buying another home, remember that it usually takes at least 30 days to close on a home if you are getting a loan.  You are going to want to talk with your REALTOR® about your options if you are buying & selling at the same time, as well as a lender if you plan to get a loan on your next home purchase. You don’t want to be left homeless with no plan in place!
  5. Start to de-clutter and prepare for the move.  Less “stuff” in a house looks better to potential buyers and will help make the transaction period less stressful for you. You will have a lot of to-dos with the real estate transaction itself, the less stress you have with packing up & moving, the more you will thank yourself.

Once you & your home are prepared for the sale, your REALTOR® will get to work listing your home for sale.  You may want to review my past blogs on “Improving Your Home’s First Impression” &  The Seller’s Roadmap to further prepare yourself for the sales process.

Once your home is listed – support your REALTOR® and respect their opinion on the process.  Try to be as flexible as you can with showings & open houses and keep your house clean & presentable.  The easier it is for buyers to come in and see your home, the more traffic you will get with prospective buyers.  The more enjoyable the experience is for the buyer in your home, the more positive of an impression it will have on them.

Good luck & happy selling!

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If you need assistance from a local REALTOR® to sell your home in the Boulder-Denver areas, I would love to help!!  Please reach out via email at beth@goodacreproperties.com or through the contact info below.

 


Simple Home Updates

Do you look at your home and think it needs updates, but the thought of the time, money & energy required to make the updates prevent you from doing the work?  You don’t need to tackle the whole house at once, instead think of one space at a time.  Additionally, there is no need to do a complete overhaul of the space – there are little things you can do that go a long way.  Here are some things to think about.

Take a step outside:

  • Mailbox.  This is sometimes the first thing people see when they pull up to your house.  A new mailbox, post, and set of house numbers is a relatively inexpensive & easy fix that will clean up the image of your home.
  • Landscaping.  You do not need entirely new landscaping, but cleaning up weeds & overgrowth and putting down some new mulch will polish up your outdoor space. Don’t stop at just cleaning up the yard & garden – tackle your driveway and any walkways too if you see grass or weeds growing up through cracks.
  • Front door.  Give your home a facelift by replacing your front door or even just repaint it if it’s in good shape.  Consider a fun pop of color that complements the rest of the paint colors of your house for a statement door.  If your budget allows, updating the door hardware will increase the curb appeal even more.

Inside:

  • Lighting.  If you have the budget to swap out some tired, old lights for more modern fixtures, this goes a long way in my opinion.  You could address one room at a time and you don’t have to spend hundreds on each light – I’ve seen many pretty lights for under $20.  Electricians usually charge an hourly rate so try to get an estimate for how many lights they can replace in an hour or two.  If this is outside your budget, simply swapping out your light bulbs can give your home a much more comforting feel.  Get rid of those bright, fluorescent lights and put in soft white bulbs.

  • Touch-up paint.  The general wear & tear of life puts a stress on baseboards, doors, and walls.  If you don’t want to completely repaint a room, consider just touching up the paint – hiding imperfections with a fresh brush stroke of paint.  Now is the time to patch any holes or fill in any dings.  Make sure you choose the right finish paint and you don’t use a gloss paint on what was initially an eggshell.

  • Fixtures.  If you have outdated or run-down knobs on cabinets, handles on doors, towel racks, or even vent covers, all of these are easy to swap out.  Replacing these give you an opportunity to let your personality shine through, while also making your space look more polished.  

  • Blinds.  If your home still has aluminum blinds or temporary paper blinds you threw up for a quick fix years ago, consider replacing them.  New window coverings can really modernize a room. 

Decor:

  • Furniture.  If you are disappointed with how worn some of your furniture looks, sanding & painting wood pieces for a fresh new look is always a great option.  This is an area where you can try out something different & have fun with it.  I almost tossed an old, weathered Adirondack chair a few summers ago, but decided to bring it back to life & painted it a bright blue to match some of my other patio furniture.
  • Decor.  Throw pillows, comfy blankets, candles, baskets to hold clutter, throw rugs, artwork for the walls, a statement wall with a peel-and-stick wallpaper, real or fake potted planets, table lamps.  All these are simple, easy ideas to update a space and make it more enjoyable to live in.  I personally love shopping affordable decor Target and Joss & Main.

If you found this information valuable and are interested in seeing my inspiration for home updates & decor, follow my Pinterest page: https://www.pinterest.com/ecgoltz/

 

***Real Estate Tip***

If your home looks as though it needs updates to you, a potential buyer will see the same thing.  Making some of these indoor and outdoor updates could potentially help with the resale of your home.  Feel free to reach out if you’d like to run your thinking by me.

 

 

 


Is This Your Year to Become a Homeowner?

Have you been thinking about purchasing a home for a while now but, haven’t acted on taking the first step?  Buying a home can seem daunting and you may have more questions than answers which may be what’s holding you back.  It’s true that buying a home may be one of the biggest investments you may make financially, but it doesn’t need to be a scary process.  Getting a good understanding of your finances & what to expect with purchasing a home may help you decide if you are ready to take the next step to start the home buying process.  Below are some key things to start to look into.

  1. Credit Report. A very basic, yet important factor in your ability to buy a home is your credit rating.  The best interest rates & more flexible loan terms are available to those with the strongest credit scores.  You should understand what your credit score is and ensure that the items they are reporting on are correct.  There are three major credit reporting agencies you can contact for your credit score: Experian, Equifax, or TransUnion.
  2. How much home can I afford?  This is probably your biggest question and something you’ll want to accurately know the answer to in order to not be disappointed later in your home search.  To get the most accurate answer, you’re going to want to have a conversation with a lender.  A lender should help evaluate your current financial situation, as well take into account your future plans that may affect how you think about your home purchase & investment.
  3. Lending Options. Banks are not the only source anymore for obtaining a loan to buy a home, there are plenty of other options and it is suggested you shop around to find a lender.
    • Mortgage Bankers loan their own money and then usually sell the loan to recapture their original money plus a small profit.
    • Mortgage Loan Brokers are in the business of matching buyers & homeowners with lenders that are likely to finance them.  The buyer usually picks up the fee for this service.
    • Financial Institutions are commonly known as traditional banks or “prime” lenders.
    • Private Lenders usually refers to sellers who are open to owner financing.
    • Some Credit Unions do issue mortgages for their members and generally can beat the rate of the bank, or at least offer the same.
  4. Pre-Approval.  Once you narrow down which type of lender can best meet your needs, the next step is to get pre-approved for a loan.  This is not the same as pre-qualification.  Pre-qualification is an estimate of how much you can afford in a mortgage payment and simply means that the lender has looked at the information and that there is a high probability that the purchaser will qualify for the requested loan.  Pre-approval is a firmer commitment on behalf of the mortgage company & is a more formal process including a credit check & employment verification.  A seller is likely to view you as a more capable buyer if you are pre-approved which can give you an advantage as a buyer in the marketplace.  It is wise to obtain pre-approval at the beginning of the buying process so you know how much home you can afford and risk not qualifying for a home you go under contract with.
  5. Upfront Fees & Expenses.  Most homebuyers are aware that they need money for a down payment, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be 20%.  The best way to know how much you need for a down payment is to talk with a lender – you may qualify for less percent down.  On top of the down payment, there are more costs that you will need to plan for.  Money will need to be allocated for costs associated with the loan, earnest money with your offer, costs for inspections, cost for an appraisal, possibly a new survey or an ILC, and closing costs. Finally, don’t forget about a cushion for things like actually moving and buying items to get settled in your new home.

With these steps taken care of, you may gain the confidence you needed to start searching for your perfect house!

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If you are ready to embark on your mission of finding a home in Colorado – I can be with you for every step of the way.  The process will not be overwhelming with a REALTOR® you can trust.  Please contact me to discuss your real estate goals:

 

 


Stay On Top of Your Exterior Paint

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Just a few weeks ago, we had a painting company come retouch all the exterior paint on the house. It wasn’t the most glamorous way to spend money, but we knew it was important. I had begun to notice that some of the exterior paint was chipping and in some instances, there was exposed raw wood. Heading into winter, it was really important that we tackled this issue before it became a problem. Exposed raw wood has the potential to rot if it is exposed to moisture and rotten wood would be a much more expensive project than some paint touch-up. We had been pushing off this project since spring and although I probably could have found many more ways to spend this money, the peace of mind we now have was worth the expense!


Get Creative With an Accent Wall

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A powder room doesn’t seem like a room to spend a lot of time thinking about, but it’s often the bathroom your guests will visit most often. It’s a small area but there’s still a big opportunity to affect the look of the space.  For our house, the powder room is the only bathroom on the first floor and absolutely gets the most traffic.  When we moved into the house, the bathroom walls were covered in gorgeous dark blue floral wallpaper.  Although you could tell the wallpaper was old, it was almost as though the design had cycled itself back in style. I do think wallpaper is becoming trendy again and I actually considered working with the paper and removing all but one wall of it. In the end, I decided the paper was too dark for a small space and I opted to lighten up the room.

I played off my original idea of focusing on one accent wall, but rather than wallpaper we decided to feature beautiful wood panels. We used boards of Beetle Kill pine with a stain to bring out the natural greys & amber of the wood and painted the remaining three walls with a light, refreshing green.  We replaced the light fixture with a vintage-looking wall sconce and put up a new scalloped-edge mirror that helped further soften the space.  The powder room is the smallest room of our house, but clearly isn’t one we overlooked. I’m now happy that the powder room is the most convenient bathroom option for our guests to use.

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Paint: BEHR Bayberry Frost

Light: Hudson Valley Lighting ~ Keswick 1-Light Wall Sconce in Polished Chrome


Add Charm with Exterior Lighting

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Have you given your exterior home lights even a second of a thought lately?  Dated exterior lights is a missed opportunity to make your home more inviting and help your home style shine through at first glance. It is a pretty simple and affordable project to tackle that makes a big difference. There are so many styles to sift through which can be time consuming, but if you can pinpoint a theme that resonates with you that can help. Are you traditional or more contemporary?  Keep in mind ease of cleaning the light if your home is prone to bugs flying around the lights.

Updating the exterior lights of our home is something I had been thinking about all year. I’d inspect the lighting on homes during walks and make a mental note of what stood out to me. I became inspired by a gorgeous home with a sweeping front porch on Mapleton Avenue that had big hanging lanterns. For our home, I  found medium-sized bronze hanging lanterns with an open seeded glass.  I liked the more traditional look of these lights with the modern element of LED lighting. After installation, they were brighter than I expected so I had our electrician add a dimmer. Now we can dim the lights to a soft glow if we want to sit on our rockers on the porch or turn them more bright for the house to standout.  It has made such a difference to the look of our home and I can’t help myself from staring at the house when we pull into our driveway.