Early Fall Home To-Do List

As the days start to get a little cooler and there is a chill in the evening air, most of us can’t help but think about the fall days ahead.  With that comes cozy warm layers, hot drinks, comfort foods, and the start of the leaves changing colors (my favorite time of year!).  However, with this transition also comes a home to-do list you will want to consider to prepare your house for colder days ahead.  Read below for some key things to plan for.

  1. Do an initial check of your roof & gutters.  It’s generally fine to wait until the majority of the leaves have fallen to clean out gutters and downspouts, but now is a good time to check for debris, fallen sticks, or seals that look worn-out.  Make sure you don’t see obvious signs of damage or wear on your roof, especially around vent pipes and chimneys.  If you do, schedule repairs before the harsh winter starts as worn seals or damage could cause house leaks.IMG_1080
  2. Schedule chimney clean-ups. Make sure your fireplace is clean & safe for the upcoming year, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace.  A dirty chimney can be a fire hazard. Creosote, the sticky substance that remains after a fire, is highly flammable.  A chimney sweep is an easy & relatively cheap maintenance item you should not avoid.  
  3. Touch-up exterior paint.  One of my first blogs was about how important it is to stay on top of exterior paint.  Review your exterior for chipping paint and prioritize touching-up areas where you know snow may accumulate in the winter.IMG_0049
  4. Schedule a tune-up for your heating system.  Make sure your heating system is working optimally by scheduling a tune-up.  Depending on the age of your system, you may only need one every other year.  Ask your heating professional how often to schedule so you are aware moving forward.
  5. Cover-up or remove A/C Units.  September is the time to remove A/C window units – it is ideal to remove them vs. putting on a cover as it minimizes winter heat loss if you can close the window.  If you have central A/C, you’ll want to turn the system off to avoid it flipping on in an unusually warm winter day.  Hose or blow off the air conditioning unit to remove leaves, small branches, dirt and dust. Ensure it dries completely and then cover the A/C unit with a protective cover for the season.  You may want to call a local HVAC company to see if there are other preventative items you should do to keep your system in good condition over the winter.
  6. Order Firewood.  If you have a wood-burning fireplace, now is a good time to order a delivery of firewood for the season.  If you can, don’t store large quantities of wood directly against the house, which can encourage bugs & pests, but do keep it covered from moisture such as rain and snow.  IMG_0848
  7. Schedule to winterize your sprinkler system. When temperatures start to fall, it’s time to winterize your sprinkler system. Your lines must be drained or blown out before the first hard freeze as the sprinkler system can be damaged from below-freezing temperatures. 
  8. Add weather-stripping.  For old, drafty windows and doors, weather-stripping can help retain heat and stop drafts.  Check old weather-stripping to ensure it is working properly and help ensure window & door gaps are as sealed as possible for the upcoming cold days.

After all your hard work, plan to enjoy the wonderful season of fall!  Go buy a new candle (I love Yankee Candle’s Autumn Leaves) and plan a foliage drive to see the gorgeous changing leaves in your area.  Enjoy!

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Real Estate Tip: Properly maintaining your HVAC systems, roof, & chimney will help avoid costly surprises at inspection objection if you are trying to sell your home.  If you have any questions related to preparing your home for sale, I would love to help.  Please contact me below.


The Seller’s Roadmap

Selling your home can be an emotional process so it’s best to go into it knowing what to expect.  If you are thinking of selling your home, you will first want to meet with a real estate professional so they can help walk you through the steps to getting your home sold.  There is no commitment for that initial meeting – you are ensuring that you & the real estate broker will work well together and the work the broker will put into selling your home is what you expect (and deserve!).  The broker will do a market analysis and pull comparable homes that have sold recently to determine an appropriate price for the house.  As difficult as it may be, it is important to review the facts and be open-minded about the price the agent is providing.  Many sellers have an emotional tie to their home and may see their home in a more subjective light than the traditional buyer will.

If you decide to move forward with listing your home, you will want to prepare your home to be sold.  A good real estate broker should be able to help provide insight into what buyers will be looking for – plan to be open-minded in hearing their recommendations.  Your broker is offering advice based on a broad buyer audience, whereas your style may be more for one particular taste.  You will want your home to be in the best possible condition so plan on things like touching-up paint, making repairs for defects such as a broken door or leaky roof, de-clutter, enhance your home’s curb-appeal, eliminate odors, and clean to make your house shine.

Once your home is ready, your broker will list it for sale.  At a minimum, your broker will put up a for-sale sign and list it in the local MLS (Multiple Listing Service).  You deserve more than this so ensure your real estate broker will be putting forward a full marketing plan to sell your home from events to advertising, social media, direct outreach, professional photos, and more.  The job of a real estate agent is to MARKET your property to get it sold.  You need an agent that knows how to do marketing to get the home sold quickly and at a sale price you are happy with.  Please contact me below for a sample of my marketing plan for listing homes.

When an offer (or multiple offers) come in on your home, your broker will work with you to help you decide which offer to move forward with or negotiate on.  When all parties agree to the offer, the contract is signed and you are officially under contract.  Be prepared for many deadlines & commitments in the following weeks to get the sale closed.  On top of preparing to move and meeting all seller obligations, it is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.  Assuming each date & deadline is met and no one defaults on the contract, the transaction is complete with the closing & agreed upon possession date & time.  Cheers!!

Download the Seller’s Roadmap here.

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I would love to help you sell your home in CO.  Please contact me below to see my sample marketing plan for listing homes & I would be happy to schedule a no-obligations meeting to discuss your real estate needs.

 


What Guests Really Notice in Your Home

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While reading up about home decor & inspiration, I stumbled upon an interesting article from Popsugar: “What Guests Really Notice in Your Home.”  This is a timely article given many of us are expecting guests this coming holiday season.  The list isn’t overwhelmingly long – just 6 key things to think about:

  • Scent of the Home
  • Well-stocked bar
  • Fresh Flowers
  • Lack of Clutter
  • A tidy bathroom
  • An organized entry way

The only addition I would add is …”A tidy and clean bathroom!”  You can’t fool your guests into a fresh, organized, home if your bathrooms are way overdue for a cleaning.

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Real Estate Tip: Potential buyers will notice these things too when looking at your home for sale… except for the well-stocked bar, unless it comes with the house 😉

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Decor Decision Making

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This January, I finally pulled the trigger on a purchase that I had been researching for months.  I was scouring my go-to sites daily for affordable decor (Joss & Main, Wayfair, & Zulily) and after weeks of no luck, I expanded my search to my more expensive favorite retailers (Pottery Barn, Serena & Lily, and Crate & Barrel).  I found TONS of options, but I just could not for the life of me make a decision.  Believe it or not, my big decision was 2 decorative pillows for our family room couch. Crazy – I know.  Why are the small purchases sometimes the hardest!?  It took me months to decide on 2 pillows and literally 2 days to decide on a 12′ x 15′ rug for our family room.  Believe me, the rug was a lot more expensive than the 2 pillows 🙂

I think my hang-up was that the colors of our family room are so comfortable to me.  A lot of grays, blue, and white and that is something I have always decorated with.  However, I wanted to take a little chance with the pillows and put a splash of unexpected color in the room.  Our beautiful rug has a touch of mustard yellow, salmon pink, and mint green – all colors I like but wasn’t sure I wanted to highlight.  I finally decided to pull out that salmon pink and purchased 2 really cozy, cotton cable knit sweater pillows in a Paprika color.  I had gone back and forth on whether to purchase a pillow with a design or keep it simple.  In the end, I decided that the rug had such a strong pattern that simple, classic pillows would look best.  The faded “pink” turned out to fit in perfectly and I’m really pleased that the pillows made the room even a touch more comfortable. Yellow lab approved.


Inspiration from the East Coast

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My husband, son, and I made the trip to the east coast for the holidays this past week. We are lucky that both sets of families are just a short Amtrak ride apart so we spent some time in MA and some time in CT. Both my husband and I grew up on the east coast and the coastal elements from CT and MA definitely shine through in my design style. My parents just recently completed a major home addition and I was so excited to see the finished product. One interesting aspect they added was an enclosed walkway between the garage and the house – a gorgeous hall of windows and a light stone tile. It’s a stunning feature from both inside and out and such a luxury on cold rainy days like we had when we were visiting.

 


A Passion for Homes

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Nearly a year ago, October 2016, I was a new mom home on maternity leave and I found myself doing a lot of soul searching.  The days were long but filled with tremendous love for this new little boy that joined our family.  Nearly every day, I would pack up the baby & harness up the dog and we would venture out on a long walk. I would find myself daydreaming on these walks. “What are my dreams?”  “What are my passions?” “What do I get excited about?”  These are questions I have asked myself a million times before but, I could never really come up with an answer that I believed was true.

Finally, after countless strolls through neighborhoods in Boulder, CO, things started to click.   I realized that I was checking out each and every home I passed with curiousity.  I realized that I dream about future homes for my family.  I constantly envision our next house project to continue to make our home comfortable, yet beautiful. I get excited seeing what other people have done with their homes.  I spend free time perusing real estate sites.

Fast forward to Fall 2017.  I’m excited to announce that I’ve made a major career shift from marketing & selling in Corporate America to marketing & selling a new product, something I’m passionate about: Homes.