When you decide to sell your home it’s all about appealing to the buyer. It can be a frustrating experience as a seller because you have built a relationship with the house. It’s not just a house, it’s your home and like most of us, you’re probably attached to it. Unfortunately, the buyer probably isn’t concerned with your sentiment to it. Here and in the video, we outline a few ways to remove the “you” from your home and make it an enticing property for prospective buyers.
Clean your house
This should be obvious. It isn’t. Some homes need a little extra care when it comes to making it appear tidy and in good order. some things to consider:
- Clean your walls- kids are messier than we think.
- Check your switch plates and baseboards- huge collection point for dust and grimy fingerprints.
- Get rid of the grease and grime on your appliances- remember that kitchens are a huge selling point and will probably be under scrutiny.
- Bathroom- toothpaste on the mirrors, dirty toilets, soap scum on the tiles; all of these are big turn offs for buyers.
- Laundry room- dryers are notorious for spitting out more dust than we can keep up with. Give it a good once over (maybe twice).
Remove personal things
I know it seems like you’re taking the character and soul out of the home when you remove those personal touches. But I guess that is the point. Buyers aren’t trying to learn about you, they really want to see if the house feels right and gives them a good feeling when they walk through the door. It can even be distracting to see who lived there before because the buyer will be focusing on the house’s past rather than its future. Some ways you can prevent this distraction:
- Take down any family photos, especially ones of any children who live in the house.
- Remove any personal objects, trophies, family names, or other identifying objects.
- laundry, we all have it but we don’t necessarily want to see yours. Keep clothes in dressers and neatly put away in closets (which will most likely be looked in).
- Valuables. This is pretty obvious. however, when doing a walk through before a showing, you might have forgot about things like keys, or collectibles or even jewelry. Best not to take any chances and keep it all out of sight.
- Declutter your house. the knickknacks and curio should get put away. Remember: you want the potential buyer to be able to visualize their things in the house.
- Stage. Stage. Stage.If you have moved your things out already, consider staging.
While you are probably like the majority of us and have put off your house repairs, they have never been more important for selling your home. Even the minor repairs are huge. I recommend starting from the front and working your way back. Just imagine that potential buyers are walking through your house and the first thing they see is broken floorboard or a minor piece of trim, they will probably be thinking, ” I wonder what else is broken”. You want them to have a good first impression of your home.
- Put a fresh coat of paint on your front door. It is one of the biggest aspects of curb appeal and it is so easy to do.
- roof, insulation and siding can be a big determining factor for buyers. Make sure they’re in good condition.
- A little landscaping goes a long way and a tidy yard will make people excited to see the rest of the house.
Do a sniff check
I think that everyone’s home has a certain smell or scent. not necessarily bad, just unique to that home. Most likely you don’t realize it either. Have someone who doesn’t live there do a sniff check for you. Their unbiased nose will pick up what you might not. If it doesn’t smell great, tackle the problem. Get carpet cleaners in there and clean it to high heaven. I don’t recommend covering up any smells with really powerful candles or wax warmer. As someone who has purchased homes and showed many, the strong smelling candles don’t fool anyone. Nothing beats the smell of clean.
Tidy up garage
Often garages become collection points for the uncategorized stuff that we accumulate. But when preparing a home to be shown to potential buyers, cater to all members of the family. My husband is easy to impress with an organized (mostly) garage. Basic things like a swept floor or painted drywall (discount paint sections in home improvement stores are great for this) make a huge difference. Also, consider that when you open your garage, anyone can see in there. I don’t like people seeing my mess, and it is no different when you’re trying to sell.
Remember, you want to give the buyer a blank slate so that they can see their future in that house. Help them to see the dream. I hope you found this helpful and if there are things that you found to be helpful in the past, tell us about it. We love hearing from you.Let’s Make Awesome Happen
John & Tracey Tindall
When buying a home for the first time you most likely want to save money any chance you get. It can seem like an overwhelming and never ending drain on your bank account. When you finally close on your new home you probably won’t want to even think about any more paperwork or transactions, but a quick trip to the County Assessor’s office to file a homeowner’s exemption will save you so much money each year in property tax.
What is it ?
An exemption that reduces the taxable value of your home up to a maximum of $100,000 in value.
Why do I need it?
By reducing the taxable value of your home, your taxes are much LESS and you SAVE! If you have a mortgage, this savings will likely reduce your total monthly mortgage payment.
If you live in your home at least 6 months out of the year as your primary residence, you qualify!
When do I need to file?
You must file by the 15th of April in 2018!
Where do I file?
The county assessors office for the county in which you reside.
Remember: Idaho is a non-disclosure state and this means that you do not have to share the value of your home with the county when you apply (what you paid for it)
If you are not sure about your home owner exemption status, give us a call and we would be happy to help you! We are here to help!
Now that 2018 is finally here, resolutions and goals seem to be all anyone is talking about. If one of your resolutions is to be a first-time buyer then here are a few tips to help you make that a resolution that doesn’t fall by the wayside. Maybe your resolutions don’t involve buying, maybe it is to sell your home or to build equity with your existing home or investing in your home. In any case here is an abbreviated list of some routes to consider. (Full Article)
For the first time buyers
Buying a new home is scary, but taking the first steps toward an organized and planned out purchase is half the battle. Having a structured plan and timeline gives you a set of instructions that you can follow. Near the top of the list you create should be finding a reputable and thorough realtor to take the mystery of purchasing and turn it into an understanding of the process. Regardless of when your planned purchase date is, NOW is the best time to start working on your credit. If you’re one of the majority who has room for improvement, the sooner you start working on it, the better. And speaking of now, remember that you are going to need a down payment for your purchase.
For the First time Sellers
Maybe you don’t plan to be a first-time buyer, maybe selling is on the top of your 2018 goals, then you need to start planning too! When you prepare your home to be sold, you need to make sure that you take care of all those repairs you’ve been putting off. Along with fixing, you need to start getting rid of the extra and unused stuff that has been accumulating. Personally, I don’t want to pay to ship the contents of my junk drawer or those broken things that I keep meaning to fix. Throwing away (donating, selling) is hard but once you’ve cleared out the clutter, you’ll be happy you did and it’s one less thing you need to worry about.
Trying to Add Equity
One of the most effective ways to add equity to your home is to bring your principle down. You can do this in several ways. Refinancing your home might be a good choice. Either for a shorter loan term or for a lower rate. Another way to bring down your principle is to pay more. That simple. Maybe you pay more each month or you make an extra payment. Either way you’re going to have to pay more.
Investing in Your Home
Investing in your home can be one of the more gratifying options. Most of us like to see transformations. And making your home more beautiful is always exciting. Make sure when you chose a project that you select one that has a good return of investment. It would be a good idea to do some homework and find out the most sought after home features. One type of renovation that will almost always yeild a good return of investment is increasing your home’s energy rating.
No matter what topic made your 2018 Real Estate goal list, we hope you were able to find some of this advice helpful. If you did, or have any other ideas- Reply and tell us all about them. Please don’t forget to check out the full Windermere article for any extra info.
LET’S MAKE AWESOME HAPPEN!
The holidays are no doubt my favorite time of year. I love the kindness and warmth and that people genuinely want to do good to others. This doesn’t have to stay in November and December. We have come up with a few ways to keep that magical holiday spirit alive throughout the rest of the year.
Don’t forget about your neighbors.
Goodwill toward mankind is in the air during the holidays. Giving is just part of the season, but as the food comas wear off and the gifts settle in, we get back to our busy lives. In some cases we start focusing on our careers again, or getting back to the gym. It’s (sadly) very easy to forget about those people you were so kind to. Not to say that you are now unkind, but we tend to start diverting our attention and efforts back on ourselves.
Making an effort to remember the people around us will make a difference. My granddaughter, though young loves to donate her toys because she wants other kiddos to have toys too. Ultimately, service to others is really the bigger picture and here are some ways to do so:
-Volunteer at a local charity
-donate used clothes or extras to people in need
-take the kids to talk with seniors in convalescent centers.
-make up care packages to send to troops overseas
-care packages for chemo patients
-be a cuddler at your local hospital’s NICU
-donate your time or extra clothes/food to our struggling veterans
Make Family Activities a priority
The amount of time we spend with family during the holidays is incredible. But why do we let it stop once we turn another page on the calendar? I personally believe that family is special and something to protect and cultivate. And this year I don’t intend on letting the family time slow down nearly as much. Just think about it, even getting together once a month is far better than being a Christmas/Thanksgiving gathering type of family. I’m guilty of it too, but small efforts go a long way.
-We have implemented friday night family pizza. We get together with the kids and grand-kids, have some pizza, some wine and catch up. It doesn’t always workout every week but its starting to become a recurring thing.
-Be present with each other, not just in the same room. Really interact and find out about their day etc.
Few holidays have the same warmth and widespread kindness as Christmas, but you don’t have to let those sentiments fade away when the lights come down. Maybe you can start making other holidays a big deal (if you don’t already). Here are a few that I think can be made in to holidays of service to others as well:
-Epiphany, celebration of the 3 kings presenting baby Jesus with the gifts
-Chinese New Year!
-National Freedom Day- the 13th ammendment was signed to abolish slavery.
-Holi! because who doesnt love color
-March Equinox- Welcoming in spring
Hope you were inspired by our post and thought of a few ways to keep the spirit alive in your family. Happy New Year!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen!
Maybe Winder is the best time for you to consider selling?
With Demand remaining high in our area combined with low inventory which continues to drop, this winter might just be a great combination of factors making it an ideal time for you to sell.
A balanced market will sit at six months of inventory. Less than six months of inventory and you start heading into a sellers market. Lower the inventory the greater the sellers market. In Kootenai County, our inventory sits at less than 3 months in most price sectors. A large number of price sectors are sitting at just one month. Low inventory with high demand will increase market values and your list price. Interest rates continue to remain low which continues to create a tremendous amount of buyers.
Winter is often thought a difficult time to sell, but in this buying climate it creates a perfect storm for selling! In the winter months there is even less competition and this increases demand even further. Buyers out looking in the cold and snow are much more serious buyers too!
If you are interested in knowing more about the inventory levels in your neighborhood or more about our market and in determining your next step, let’s connect, we would love to assist in keeping you up on the market.
Let’s Make Awesome Happen
John and Tracey Tindall
Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Realty
What is Radon?
If you are buying or selling a home, Radon might not be on your radar, but it should be! Learn more about Radon, and what you should consider before you sell your home or buy your next one.
Learn more about Radon with John and Tracey
Let’s Make Awesome Happen!
John and Tracey Tindall
Windermere, Coeur d’Alene Realty
If you’ve been outside anytime during the last week, you no doubt noticed the smoke. It’s fire season again in the Pacific Northwest. Before we talk about the multitude ways to help keep your investment safe from fire, I want to give a heartfelt thank you to all of those firefighters away from their families. Thank You! On to business.
When you decided to purchase a house and make the emotional commitment of being a home owner, I truly doubt you ever thought that a fire could happen to you. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, in 2015 there were 501,500 structure fires in the U.S. resulting in just over 10 billion dollars in damages and 2,685 deaths. No one wants to be a part of this statistic.
Smoke alarms probably seem like a no-brainer, but there maybe you forgot to test them or check the batteries. It is recommended that you test them monthly and replace the batteries every six months when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Another thing to remember when putting in new alarms, smoke rises. Smoke is less dense than air so it rises, which is why smoke alarms are on the ceiling or no further than 6 inches from the ceiling on the wall.
typically associated with businesses, schools and hospitals but fire extinguishers are recommended for the home as well. The best places to keep your home extinguishers are anyplace that you would expect something to combust. Obviously the kitchen, but also in places like the garage or down in the basement by the furnace. You, the homeowner are also encouraged to have a fire extinguisher for every floor. You don’t want to be in a situation where you have to run upstairs to get the fire extinguisher.
Know your types of extinguishers!
There isn’t one fire extinguisher that works on all types of fires. And speaking of types of fires, there are 6. SIX! with 5 different types of extinguishers, the location of the fire will most likely dictate the type of fire. I am not going to go in depth with all of the types and appropriate applications. But for the sake of the homeowner, you’ll need to determine which one is right for the different areas of your home. It is worth noting that the dry powder type of extinguisher (also known as the ABC type) is not recommended for small spaces such as homes and offices. If inhaled, it can be very damaging.
Know how to use the extinguisher
Having an extinguisher is just half the battle. If you want to be effective in stopping fires before they do real damage, you need to know how to use them. remember the acronym PASS. P-pull pin A-aim at the base S- squeeze the trigger S- sweep back and forth. Here is a short video illustrating the proper technique.
Emergency Escape Route
I remember when I was young, I always thought it was silly to do a fire drill at home. It wasn’t until I grew up and had babies of my own and realized that you absolutely need to practice. If you live in a home with multiple stories, get a window ladder. You wont always be able to use the stairs. Some advice I would like to pass on. If there is a fire in your home. Do not get dressed. Don’t try to find valuables. Don’t search for pets. Just get your children and leave the house. Most likely the animals will find a way out on their own. They have instincts that guide them away from fire. Your valuables are worthless if you do not have someone to share them with. Keep your family safe.
Keep combustibles away from outlets and other electronics.
It makes sense when you think about it retrospectively. But how often do we push furniture up against outlets or not think about the power strip we have had around since the 90’s. Sure it might work just fine. But newer electronics like power strips are being made safer and besides, after years of use (or maybe abuse) it’s not exactly as safe as it used to be. Outlets, extension cords, open or lose wiring. Check them. As for your electronics, I’m sure you’ve noticed that after using tv’s or laptops they get warm (maybe hot) to the touch. With the right combinations of factors, you could have a fire on your hands. Keep electronics off when they’re not being used. While the electronics are in use, keep them away from combustibles.
Keep the dead and dry stuff away from the house
Not all fires start from inside the home, some start from your yard or property. As homeowners, you are advised to trim back or remove completely, any dead trees or shrubs, or any dried up debris. These types of organic materials serve as kindling in wildfires, and they pose a threat to your home as well!
If we forgot something or you know a good way to keep your home safe, please say so in the comments! We love hearing from you. Stay safe out there in the heat and smoke!
Let’s Make Awesome Happen
Were back after a shot hiatus with some wonderful germ that my granddaughter brought home. This week we have for you some helpful tips for your appliance purchasing adventures. Read these before you decide to update those awesome brown-ish kitchen appliances. Together were going to tackle the ups and downs of showroom shopping from; love at first sight, sticker shock, betrayal and all of the other juicy emotions that come along with. So lets kick it off with what I consider to be the most important tip:
Don’t make impulse purchases!
It might sound pretty obvious, but when you spot that set from across the showroom floor and the sparks start flying and you cant see anyone else- it’s hard to listen to logic. The super adorable compact washer and dryer set might make your heart beat out of your chest, but then you get home to your family of 5 miniature clothing destroying angles and you realize that your washer and dryer set wont make it in this relationship.
The healthier way to approach this front loading love of your life is to actually, shop around. I know, it sounds like it was meant to be. But consider your other options. Maybe there is a discounted set that fits better and has the features you need. Are there other stores to shop around at? Is online purchasing an option?
Measure! Measure! Measure! (then buy)
pretty obvious when you are considering filling the void left by your old appliances. Have you considered other clearances? Door swing? Handles? Depth of the appliance itself? Like I said, it sounds obvious when you are reading this. But you’ll forget. We all forget. Another thing to consider. Will it fit through your door or up the stairs? If you live in an apartment complex, there’s a chance you might be in big trouble since navigating stairs, and hallways and corners and elevators and other tenants can be a huge pain.
Consider energy rating
This is an aspect of appliances that is pretty readily found and is typically a selling point since most people want to do good by the earth and also their wallets. A huge monthly utility bill can turn a rosy romance into a bitter feud. If your dream refrigerator takes hundreds of dollars to keep your perishables from perishing, is it really true love?
When you are shopping around the showroom, look for the bright yellow sticker that says ENERGY GUIDE in big bold, black letters! This hard to miss sticker is where you can find the approximate yearly operating cost and the approximate yearly energy use. This is required by federal law to be on all new appliances as the program Energy Star is a division of the Environmental Protection Agency. If your showroom doesn’t have these. RUN.
Touch Screen Fridge? Really?
Before you decide that the touch screen fridge door is what you need, evaluate your current situation. Would digital grocery lists make your life easier? Maybe. Personally, I need to have something tangible in my hands when it comes to lists. I forget about all the handy list and reminder functions on my phone constantly. If this doesn’t sound like you. Then by all means, get the super high-speed iFridge.
I think the take-away from this section is to really evaluate if these awesome and eye-grabbing features will in fact make your life easier. Or. Will it be fun for a few minutes and then slowly forgotten about like many other trends in our lives. Think long and hard about how these bells
Know your needs
this one sort of plays into the above section. But really, its important. If you eat out most days and your current fridge is empty, then do you really need a new one? The same goes for washers and dryers. If you’re a single person with 10 shirts to your name, do you need to get a new set of appliances for your very light loads of laundry? I know, that with my two tiny granddaughters, my daughter is constantly doing laundry. The current set is probably going to lose this race.
I’m sure there are some other tips that should be considered. That’s why we have You! Please feel free to add any in the comments section. We’d really love to hear about what you wish you would have considered when you made your purchases and any advice to other buyers. Happy Shopping
Independence Day is just around the corner and we’ve come up with some tips, tricks and design ideas to help you be the BBQ champion. Some of my favorite childhood memories were any given summer outside, circled around the grill with friends and family. Here’s to you and yours. Here’s to turning those summer days in to wonderful memories.
Clean your Grill!
The key to having almost anything ready to use, is cleaning it up after you use it. But if you are like me, sometimes the food coma sets in and cleaning up is out of the question. Here are some ways to keep your grill ready for a cookout at a moments notice.
- Leave your grill on for a few minutes with the hood closed. This is a super easy, coma-friendly way to burn off any excess foods and fats left on the grill.
- Give your grill a good scrub with something abrasive. Grill brushes, tin foil, abrasive sponge. Put a minute of elbow grease in to it to remove any charred junk.
- To ensure a non-sticking grill when you fire it up the next time, spray on some non-stick spray or a bit of vegetable oil. I’ve even heard that rubbing a 1/2 onion on the grate can do the trick.
- That’s it. These easy steps will have your grill laying in wait, ready to pounce at any moment to help you keep your throne of Grill King- or Queen!
If you hate following instructions like me, here is the video version from diy network: How to clean your grill in 15 minutes
Here are a few hacks to make serving, eating and cleaning up after your festivities easy as pie!
Here are some recipes that we either love or want to make this summer. And I may be a bit biased for bourbon. Not sorry. Photos and titles are linked.
Yes. All of those!
These look amazing. I cant wait to make these. Ribs are such a guilty pleasure of mine. They’re messy, they’re not exactly on the skinny menu, but Lord they are delicious.
You read that correctly. Made these last year for a family gathering. I wish I had made more, there wasn’t nearly enough to go around twice.
This is another recipe I am looking forward to using this Independence day. I hope it has as much kick as they say.
BBQ Grill Station Ideas
Maybe this summer your mind is set on remodeling or updating your back yard. Here are some BBQ stations that are functional and add to your back yard setting.
These concrete counter tops have plenty of room for prepping. I really like the clean and fucntional design, as well as the low cost of concrete.
This one is really great too, I think the portable design is perfect for a more laid back yard. And having a sink nearby is such a smart idea. You handle tons of raw meat when you grill, and being able to wash your hands is an obvious way to prevent food-born illnesses. It even has a built in chopping block…. ok, ok. It’s a cutting board. A girl can dream right?
If putting together a large permanent station isn’t something that your bank account will allow, this might be a good solution. You can set up a semi-permanent station by using cinderblocks and paver stones to accomplish a similar built-in feel. This way you won’t spend a fortune and you will still have all that work and prep space.
We hope you enjoy these tips and tricks. If you’re feeling motivated, we’d love to see how your projects are coming along. And feedback on the recipes is always encouraged. Enjoy!
From our family to yours, We hope you have a wonderful and proud Independence Day!
God Bless America!
Not sure what to do this summer? It seems like the most common thing to do is to book a trip to some tropical beach get away in an exotic country. The beach is nice, but I’m an Idaho girl. I love the mountains. I prefer the smell of earthen mountain air and lush greens forests overhead. But to each their own. I’ve compiled a small list of local getaways that can make you feel like you’re on an amazing vacation in your own back yard! Here is a short list of 8 destinations to help you stay and play in Idaho.
Bed & Breakfast
Coeur d’Alene has tons of little mom and pops B&B’s. The one pictured below, however is the Roosevelt Inn. The first permanent schoolhouse in CDA that was established in 1905 is now one of the most prominent in the area. We stayed here for our wedding about 5 years back. The staff were wonderful and the interior and decor didn’t disappoint.
The largest theme and water park in the northwest, Silverwood is home to 6 rollercoasters and 66 total rides including a steam train around the premises and numerous water rides. Next door is Boulder Beach, a large water park with tons of slides and rivers . Out side of the parks gates is a large RV park for the out of state visitors. The park features representational rides illustrate our regions roots in the frontier. It opened in 1988 and has supplied our area tons of jobs and about 80 million in revenue last year alone.
Glacier National Park
One of my favorite places to get knee deep in some fresh powder during the winter. Schweitzer Mountain is also a beautiful destination during the summer with tons of things to do. Hiking, mountain biking, music and beer festivals just to name a few. With many accomodation options like rentals or lodge stays, you are sure to be met with views that will take your breath away..
Coeur d’Alene Resort
Seven stories tower above the lake set in front of Tubb’s Hill. The Coeur d’Alene Resort has been standing high since 1973 and has since been the face of Coeur d’Alene. This resort has some shopping inside its walls, rooms with a view and is home to the worlds first and only floating green at the Coeur d’Alene Golf Course.
2011 blessed Lookout Pass with the highest snowfall in the world at 6.5 feet in a 7 day period. For obvious reasons, adored amongst locals for it’s smaller crowds and crazy amounts of powder during the winter, don’t rule it out for summer either. When the mercury starts rising, Lookout takes over The Route of the Hiawathas, a 15-mile rail trail bike path. Handfulls of Train tunnels and 7 trestle bridges.
Perched over Kellog, Silver Mountain has tons of activities to keep you busy year round. Skiing, boarding, tubing, biking and the list goes on. At the base of the gondola is a large hotel with an indoor water park and lots to see in the town. Up on top is the regions best lift access bike park and the view of silver valley is enough to make you want to stay.