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6 SMART UPDATES TO MAKE TO YOUR BATHROOM

The idea of renovating your bathroom can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to knock down walls or gut the whole thing to make it feel new again. Making smart updates can get you closer to the look you want without the big budget, or the big hassle.

“You dream about a bathroom that’s high on comfort and personal style, but you also want materials, fixtures, and amenities with lasting value,” said houselogic. “Wake up! You can have both.”

Here are a few places to start.

1. A new showerhead

This is one of our favorite ways to freshen up a bathroom because a new showerhead is: A) inexpensive, even for one that provides multiple heads and functions; B) an easy way to make your shower more enjoyable if you’ve been dealing with an old showerhead that doesn’t provide massage or handheld options; and C) also a money saver since new showerheads are more energy-efficient.

2. Soaker tub

Soaker tubs are the hottest trend in bathrooms right now, and it’s getting to the point where anything else makes your bathroom look outdated. Have one of those giant Jacuzzi tubs in your bathroom? It’s probably time to yank it out, especially if your jets stopped working long ago. The bonus of a freestanding tub is it can also make your bathroom feel airier and more spacious.

Bathroom Update

3. Walk-in shower

Your dinky shower with the tired tile and the metal trim isn’t fooling anyone. You don’t have to tear the whole thing down (but, if you can, by all means!) Removing the tile and replacing it with something more current can do wonders, especially if you’re going from something dark and cave-like to a choice that’s light, bright, and reflective. A seamless glass enclosure can give the shower a more expansive and current look with minimal work.

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4. A smaller mirror

Sounds funny to be think about replacing your large mirror with something smaller, right? After all, it’s a bathroom. But if you’ve toured a model home lately or watched a bathroom be remodeled on HGTV, you’ve probably seen this swap. Taking down your full-width mirror and replacing it with something more tailored to the size of your vanity will instantly give the bathroom a lift. Have two sinks? Get two smaller mirrors. And make sure they’re framed out. A plain slab of mirror is just…plain.

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5. New lighting

Those cheap builder lights are making your bathroom look DATED! Some of them are so bad they can make an otherwise stylish bathroom look not so great. Replacing the lights is easy (and inexpensive!). Just make sure to get your mirror situation figured out first so you know what width your lighting should be. A light fixture that’s wider that the mirror is going to make everything look off.

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6. Vanity overhaul

There are several ways to make an old vanity/sink combo look more customized and more updated. Changing out the faucets, painting the cabinets, and adding hardware can work wonders. But if the cabinet door or drawers aren’t in good shape, if the sink shape is just too dated, or if you just want to rip the whole thing out and dump it on the lawn, it might be time for something new.

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If you are going to replace your vanity, take a look at floating versions—a hot look today that that’s also great for a smaller space because it keeps the eye moving.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Home Staging Ideas for the Kitchen to Make Buyers Bite

If you’re selling your house, staging—the mysterious practice by which you prep and prettify your home before its debut—can make a huge difference in catching the attention of buyers and ultimately reeling in an offer. And the room you’ll really want to focus on here is the kitchen: After all, it’s the crown jewel that buyers ooh and ahh over—except when the counters are packed with stacks of mail, near-empty boxes of Froot Loops, and a hulking Cuisinart you rarely use.

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To make sure this critical area is perfectly poised to woo buyers, try these home staging ideas for your kitchen and get some offers cooking.

Clear Off Counters

Put it away—put it all away. We’re looking at you, coffee maker, blender, knife block, standing mixer, and toaster oven. “And don’t forget the top of the refrigerator,” says Amy Bell, a home staging expert at Red Chair Home Interiors in Cary, NC. Home staging in this room is all about making your kitchen look bigger, cleaner, and more streamlined. “Homeowners are so accustomed to their own clutter that it almost becomes invisible to them,” she warns.

And while you’re in purge mode, remove every bit of paper and those souvenir magnets from the refrigerator and cabinets. The only thing you should keep on the counter is a pop of color, such as a pretty bowl of bright green apples or lemons, says Katie McCann, an organizing coach at Maeve’s Method.

industrial-kitchen

Scour for hours

Well, no one’s actually logging the time spent, but cleanliness is critical here. “Not only must you clean the counter tops, but the grout, faucet, and grimy drain rim, too,”.

Try CLR (calcium, lime, and rust remover) on the faucet to make sure water flows through it smoothly. Clean cabinet fronts to remove dust and grime, and scrub greasy spatters on the stove and backsplash with a vinegar-water solution.

“And if you have a stovetop with burns or food rings, remove them with a soft soap product and a razor blade—it’ll look almost like new,”.

Light it right

Let as much natural light into the space as you can, by either opening heavy drapes or replacing them with sheer panels. Have a kitchen that looks out to a patio or deck through glass doors? These must sparkle in order to illuminate the space. “And if you don’t have under-cabinet lights—get them,” recommends Halpin. You can purchase battery-powered puck-shaped lights for very little money and stick them under the cabinets (it adds that extra glow that every cook covets).

Jack Menashe, a designer and home stager at Menashe Design in New York City, likes minimal window treatments (like just a valance along the top) when showcasing a kitchen as natural light makes the space feel bigger. “A patterned valance invites the buyer to see the window and allows me a chance to add color,” he says.

Organize the insides

Potential buyers are going to open the fridge and pantry, so don’t neglect these spots when you’re staging the kitchen. “People who are looking for a new home will imagine how their pots, pans, and food items might fit into your cabinets,” explains McCann.

“Sometimes I stack cookbooks and display clear storage containers because these elements speak to the kitchen’s function, and clear containers take up less space visually,” says Menashe.

Set the scene

Some experts recommend setting the table with colorful plates and napkins to give the kitchen a homey feel.

“I may present a picture of daily life by having a unique planter on the countertop with blooming flowers alongside a carafe of orange juice for color and a rolled-up newspaper,” says Menashe. Or, place a simple runner down the middle of the table for a bit of coverage and texture.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

New Tech All Homes Will Have By 2020

New technologies are constantly emerging, rendering others obsolete every day. Many of these technologies eventually enter into our homes after being used in businesses or other capacities throughout the world first. Once they show themselves to be useful, people incorporate them into their everyday lives. Here are some technologies that every home will have by 2020.

Light-Transmissive Flooring

LED light emitting flooring can provide safety, informational, and decorational benefits. It can help guide people around the house, leading to exits and safety routes in case of an emergency. It can also enhance the atmosphere of the house, due to the fact that various colors can be used in the floors.

Light transmissive carpet is designed to directly engage with people’s vision and natural tendency to seek light. LED carpeting is conducive with the natural habit of being guided by the floor while moving. This new convenience can keep people from having to find a source of light during the night in order to navigate through their house.

Smart Home Theater

As smartphones are now the norm, smart devices throughout the homes are now expected. In a smart home, all electronic devices and gadgets are able to connect with each other and to the home network to work in unison.

Home theaters will play a large role in a smart home’s function, as they will be able to replace sound systems in TVs and gaming consoles, offering a more surround-sound experience. Lessening the number of electronics people need to invest in and having everything done with only a few gadgets is a very attractive concept to people.

Gesture Control

This is the closest that technology seems to be headed in the arena of superpowers. PointSwitch technology, which is already used in businesses, allows the user to control their surroundings with just the point of a finger. You can turn on and off electronics, lamps, alarms, and anything else without having to actually get up and press a button. This works by creating a transparent and touch-friendly space around the user, but at a distance. This will make anything as easy as a point of the finger.

New Tech

Smart Windows

We will soon be able to bid farewell to the high costs of heating and cooling our homes. With smart windows, it’s possible to turn the glass from translucent to opague by simply turning a switch or touching a button. Aside from aesthetic purposes, this will also eliminate the need for curtains or window shades. The convenience of smart windows will likely spread throughout homes, saving people money and time as the sunlight changes throughout the day.

Fingerprint Unlocking

If you are like many people, you often lose your keys. Keys will likely become a thing of the past as the fingerprint will now be the new way to unlock homes and cars. While keys can be copied or stolen, fingerprints cannot, so it adds an extra level of security. The registered fingerprints will be easily manageable, letting people adjust who has access to their house at any time.

Communication with Appliances

Perhaps you have been out of town for a while and want to check on the house. You will soon be able to send messages to your house to check on the temperature, activity, and anything going on around it. You may also be able to converse with your appliances, such as your refrigerator, while in the grocery store if you have forgotten your list. Pre-heating ovens can also be done when communicating with appliances, making time less of an issue in the evenings.

By the time 2020 rolls around, many new technologies that are emerging today will be old news. The final goal for new technologies is always convenience for the consumer and aiding in making life a bit more easy.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Five Cheap and Effective Staging Ideas

Appearance is crucial when selling your home. Making your home look sensational will go a long way in being able to get what you want out of the property. It’s here that staging comes into play. But many homeowners aren’t able to afford the cost of a professional stager. Thankfully, you don’t have to turn to a professional. There are a number of things that you can do on your own to transform the look of your home.

#1 Pack up your personal items.

Packing up all of your personal effects is one of the cheapest and simplest ways to prep your condo or home for sale. Removing your personal touches will help a potential buyer to see the home as their own. Sometimes your personal items can make that difficult. Pictures, artwork and other decor are more distracting than you realize. Hide them in the basement or a storage space while conducting tours.

#2 Get rid of the clutter.

Getting rid of any excess clutter is a great way to get potential buyers to look at your home. Sometimes emotional attachments can make throwing out clutter difficult. It’s easy to gather clutter if you have lived in the same home for years. Excess items can have a negative impact on how your potential buyers view your property. De-clutter your home as much as you can to attract more buyers.

#3 Rearrange and neutralize your rooms.

Even though you might enjoy the blue walls in your bedroom, that doesn’t mean a potential buyer will. Loud or eclectic design elements might make a potential buyer think about all of the work that they have to put into the home. The best thing you can do is to repaint your rooms a neutral color, like white, tan or cream. This will appeal to more buyers and allow them to visualize their own decor in the home.

Consider rearranging the furniture in your rooms to increase their functionality. Think about how to show potential buyers how much they could do with a room. Maximizing space is crucial when selling a home.

stagging

#4 Eliminate smells and stains by deodorizing and scrubbing your home.

No buyer wants to walk into a home that is dirty and smelly. The best thing you can do is scrub everything from floor to ceiling before having an open house. You don’t want any dirt, dust or odors lurking around the home. You want to make sure your property shines as much as you can. Greet buyers with a clean, fresh smell in every room. If you’re short on time, hire a cleaning service. A pro will save you time and ensure a spotless home.

#5 Replace the hardware around your home.

Most homeowners can afford to replace the hardware around their home. Focus on your doors and kitchen first. Next, make your way through the rest of the home. Swapping out your old hardware with new hardware can make a big difference in how your cabinets and doors look.

Conclusion

In going through the tips above, you can quickly transform the appearance of your home. Even making these small changes can make a major difference in how potential buyers view your home. You don’t need to spend a fortune staging your home. Instead, invest some time and effort in making a difference in the way your home looks.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

How To Have The Coolest Home In The Neighborhood

It’s the American way to always be looking for the next big thing. Whether you’re just looking for some cool new additions to your home décor, want the latest tech, or need to figure out a few new ways to make life easier, these products will get you there.

1. Self-cleaning sheets

Do you wash your bedding as much as you should? These sheets will actually help you out with that.

“Founded by the creators of The SleepClean Pillowcase, Silvon just introduced a line of bacteria-resistant sheets,” said Elle Décor. “Uniquely, the company doesn’t produce its linens with chemicals or nanotechnology—but rather with silver, a naturally bacteria-resistant substance. When the silver-infused linens come in contact with bacteria cells, the positively charged silver ions attack the DNA of the bacteria, hindering the cell’s ability to reproduce.”

Silvon sheets are available as a preorder on Kickstarter, where their original $20,000 campaign has now reached $537,824.

2. A machine that helps with your laundry

You may have already seen the Foldimate. It went viral last month because it actually FOLD S CLOTHES FOR YOU.

“Completing the robot takeover of our laundry chores, the appliance is designed as a third addition to the washing machine and clothes dryer you have lined up in the basement,” said Cool Things. “That way, you don’t just have to leave the laundry room with your clothes properly washed and dried, you can come out with every item neatly folded, too.

Personally, we’ll like to see a next-generation unit that can hang stuff up. Maybe that’ll happen before the Foldimate, which is still in development, goes to market—currently slated for 2018.

clothfolder

3. A refrigerator that’s helps you write your grocery list

We’ve written about the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator before, when it debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But back then it just seemed like a cool novelty. Now that it’s out there in stores and being advertised on TV, we’re kind of obsessed.

“The Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator has a 21.5-inch 1080p screen, which can be used to display recipes, a calendar, notes and more. The screen can also be used to stream TV and music — and screw sticking your shopping list on the door, you can out and out order your groceries on it,” said techradar. “And the Family Hub has another trick up its sleeve, in the shape of built-in cameras that show you what’s in the fridge. You can view the contents from your smartphone wherever you are — so if you get to the shop and aren’t sure if you need to buy milk you can just take a look on your phone.”

Refrigerator

4. Transparent speakers

Not loving the way traditional speakers look in your house? No problem. Just go transparent.

“Transparent speakers usually just show off internal components or an LED-illuminated chamber full of bubbles. Not the Turtle Beach HyperSound Glass, though,” said Geek. “These are transparent speakers that you can actually see right through. There’s no cone. There’s no voice coil. No magnet, no dust cap, no terminals. The HyperSound Glass is just a black stand and a rectangular frame that surrounds a completely translucent panel.”

Even better, the sound is directional. “The ‘stream’ of ultrasound they send out is highly focused, and it gradually becomes audible sound as it reaches its intended target. Listeners just a few feet away won’t hear a thing.”

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5. The coolest chair you’ll ever make yourself

Think Lego meets IKEA meets haute home. This multifunctional chair called SPYNDI from Lithuanian designer Mindaugas Žilionis uses 60 handmade wooden elements that click together and can be fashioned into as many shapes as you can come up with.

“In just 15 minutes you can turn this pile of sticks into many different chairs, lounges and tables,” said Bored Panda. “The human spine-inspired project has already reached full funding on Kickstarter!”

chair

6. Next-level weather display

Weather apps are so yesterday. This ambient weather display doesn’t just tell you the weather, it shows you. “The tempescope is an ambient physical display that visualizes various weather conditions like rain, clouds, and lightning. Based on weather forecasts from the internet, it can reproduce tomorrow’s sky in your living room,” said Tempescope.

This product is not yet available.

Tempescope-Ambient-Weather-Display

7. Keep track of what’s going on at home

There are tons of drop cams you can use to provide home security and also watch over your kids and pets at home. We love Circle, which lets you “See, save and share what’s happening at home from your mobile device,” they said. Our favorite feature: the fact that you can listen in and even talk through the device. The ability to say “Hi” to your dog while on your lunch break? Yes, please!

8. Remote pet play

Not enough to just watch your pets and have a few words with them while you’re gone for the day? With PlayDate, you can also play with them right through the camera. “Play with your dog or cat from anywhere using a smart ball that you control from your mobile device,” said Indiegogo. “You can control PlayDate’s smart ball remotely from your iOS or Android device after downloading our free app from the App Store or Google Play.

Imagine being able to play with your dog when you’re not at home.”

This product is currently being crowdfunded, with $483,407 raised as of the end of May 2016. Check out the video here.

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Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

10 DIY Home Improvements Even a Beginner Can Handle

So you just bought a house that needs some work, but you are a short on cash and ever shorter on the skills needed to fix up your place. Not to worry! There are plenty of home improvement projects even the most beginner of DIYers can handle.

In fact, here are 10 such projects that can work for practically every budget and skill level. We’ll start with the very easiest of projects and then add some more interesting ones once you feel you’ve gotten the hang of some of them.

1. Painting

One of the easiest ways to spruce up the look and feel of your house is by painting. Whether painting just an accent wall, a whole room or the entire exterior of your house, painting is easy enough for anyone to tackle.

Just make sure to clean the walls before you paint, always tape the edges, and never roll horizontally!

2. Garage organization

Not every home has a garage, but if you do, it’s most likely messy and disorganized. Adding a permanent organization system to your garage is a great way not only to free up usable space but also to add some perceived value to your property.

Phoenix garage-organization-10

Having a designated place for all of your tools, your yard equipment, athletic and outdoor gear and anything else you might be carrying around is much better than just stuffing them into a corner of the garage.

3. Landscaping

Curb appeal. It’s often the top reason cited why potential buyers won’t buy a house. If the house looks ugly on the outside, it will probably be ugly on the inside. Having a great first impression is key when buying a home.

The best way to make that great first impression is to have a well-manicured front yard. Sod, trees, shrubbery, annuals and more are just some of the basics any beginner DIYer can install and maintain to keep his or her curb appeal dazzling.

Phoenix Landscaping

Curb appeal is often the top reason cited why potential buyers won’t buy a house.

4. Door hardware

Every home has doors, yet not everyone knows there are thousands of ways you can decorate your doors. The easiest way to do that is to replace the hardware on your doors.

Whether it’s your front door, your bedroom door or some cabinet doors, changing up the hardware can have as much impact on a room as painting it.

Changing up the hardware can have as much impact on a room as painting it.

Change the color of the hinges from gold to black. Replace an old knob with a fancy lever. Add an electronic keypad to your front door so you never have to worry about forgetting your keys!

5. Deck staining

Like painting, staining is a fantastic way to change the look and feel of an area from drab to luxurious. Pressure washing and staining a deck to a darker color can make your deck feel like new, and it gives discerning buyers what they want.

Staining is a fantastic way to change the look and feel of an area from drab to luxurious.

6. Light fixtures

Do you want to make a room look more contemporary? How about that modern look? Or farm-house chic?

One of the best ways to enhance the look of your home is by changing the light fixtures. And yes, even a beginner DIYer can handle changing a light fixture.

If you can tie shoe laces, you can wire a light fixture. Just be sure always to turn the electrical break off before starting any electrical project.

7. Mirror framing

Have you ever looked into your bathroom mirror after you’ve taken a shower and realized you weren’t the only naked thing in the room?

Most mirrors are simply just a plate of glass with nothing else around them.

To upgrade the look, find a large picture frame at an antique store or farmer’s market. (Or buy a new mirror to fit inside of an existing picture frame.) Then, hang that picture frame around your mirror for that luxurious look.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always custom make your own frame using baseboard molding. Just be sure to cut your corners at a 45-degree angle.

8. Ceiling fans

In warmer climates, ceiling fans are an absolute must. Or, if you live in a place where you don’t have to run the air conditioner often but still want air circulation, you need a ceiling fan.

Like light fixtures, ceiling fans are similarly installed and can change the look and feel of a room in an instant.

Ceiling Fan Installation

9. Insulation

Although most beginner DIYers like to look at their new improvements with pride and joy when they finish installing them, insulation is one improvement that your brain will enjoy more than your heart.

You won’t be able to see the fruits of your labor when you’re done installing new blown or rolled insulation into your attic and walls. But, your wallet will be reaping the rewards of your efforts once your heating and cooling bills are reduced.

10. Carpeting

If you can wrap a present in wrapping paper, you are one step away from installing new carpets in your home.

Like wrapping a present, carpeting simply involves measuring, cutting, rolling and adhering.

Carpets can be worn out in less than five years. Replacing your carpet (and carpet padding underneath) will certainly add value to your home. Plus, nothing feels better on your toes than fresh, new carpets!

As with any renovation or improvement project to your home, make sure you consult with your community homeowner’s association (if you have one) to make sure the changes are in line with the community restrictions.

And acquire any permits necessary to be in compliance with your local ordinances.

And finally, when in doubt, there’s nothing wrong with throwing in the towel and hiring a professional. The easiest home improvement project you can do is sit on your couch and watch other people do the work for you!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Buying A New Home? These 4 Upgrades Are A Must!

For new-home buyers, they have some tough decisions to make: Which extra features are worth the extra money and which ones aren’t? Some upgrades buyers can easily put off without breaking the bank. But for others, buyers may be wise to get them done right away.

Read more: Cementing Partnerships in New Construction
Realtor.com® recently featured an article on some of the easiest upgrades to add to a new home now that could save time, money, and headaches later on. Among the upgrades to do now:

1. Cable conduits: This can be one way to future-proof a home. “Yes, smart home features are increasingly going wireless, but that doesn’t mean you should skip running cable conduits throughout the house—especially if you see a big home theater or full-home sound system in your future, both of which work best plugged in directly,” the realtor.com® article notes. “Adding an extensive system of cable conduits can make hooking up entertainment much simpler.”

Cable Conduets

2. Radiant heating: This is integrated into the floor, which makes doing it during the construction phase a lot easier than after. Buyers likely will pay at least $6 per foot for their system in new construction. Those adding it later will likely pay double that – or more. Also, consider confining radiant heating into one room because it “actually can be a limiting factor in future design changes, since the contractor will need to work around it or replace it by zones,” says Ken Streiff, a Minnesota contractor and builder with 20 years of industry experience.

Radiant floor heating

3. Outdoor outlets: Adding outlets later on can cost upward of $250 each. Adding them during construction when the walls are still open can be much cheaper.

Outdoor Outlets

4. Accessibility: You never know what the future holds. Consider making hallways and doors wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair. Reinforce bathroom walls to make adding grab bars later on easier — and with no need to open up the walls. Also, consider the location of switches and outlets and don’t make them too high or too low.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

10 WAYS TO QUICKLY UP YOUR HOME VALUE FOR A SUMMER SALE

Planning to sell your home this summer? You may have a little – or a lot – to do in order to get your home market ready. But you don’t need a huge budget. These 10 tips can help you get it looking great with little effort, and cash.

1. Paint

Crisp white walls are great in a 1920s Spanish. For most other homes, a splash of color is an easy way to warm up the space, make it look more updated, and banish fingerprints and stains. Use a soft neutral like one of these favorite gray shades for a modern look.

2. Address your front door

A fresh coat of paint on your front door is a quick fix that pops with potential. Use a bright color like red or yellow to differentiate your home from others and make it shine from the street.

If your door really can’t be salvaged by painting it, you’ll be happy to know that replacing it with a new steel door has been shown to return between 75% and 100%+ of your investment. “It’s also a relatively low-cost project,” said Houselogic. “According to the “2015 Remodeling Impact Report,” a new steel front entry door has a national median cost of $2,000 installed.”

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3. Quick curb appeal

Aside from your door, a few easy tasks can make the front of your home look great – important when you’re looking to sell your home since poor curb appeal can keep potential buyers from even coming inside. A new layer of mulch has been called the easiest and quickest way to add curb appeal. Pulling noticeable weeds, giving the lawn a quick mow, and bringing in fresh flowers – if you can’t plant, put a few pots near the front door—can make all the difference.

4. New appliances

Even if the rest of your kitchen needs work, new stainless steel appliances can tempt buyers. This package from US Appliance is just $1,749.

Applicance

If you end up with a fancy new fridge you don’t want to leave behind, make sure to let your real estate agent know so it’s stipulated in the contract.

5. Quickie bathroom updates

A new or painted vanity, hardware, fixtures, and lighting can make a tired bathroom look fresh again. Don’t forget the little things – a fluffy set of towels, a nice rug, a modern shower curtain, and sleek accessories can make the space look good, even if it’s really in need of a gut job.

6. New bedding

You’d be surprised how new bedding can transform the look of your bedroom for next to nothing. There are two schools of thought here: get a cheap bed-in-a-bag set that looks nice but probably doesn’t have the thread count you want for everyday use, or spend a little more for something that has the looks and the luxe.

7. Create a guest room

Have a room that’s currently an undefined space? A blowup bed covered in some chic bedding can help buyers envision how they’ll use the room. This is a top tip from stagers, who say that “multipurpose” rooms can confuse buyers, leaving them unsure if a home will work for them.

8. Set the scene outdoors

Everybody is into indoor-outdoor living the days. A few tricks outside can make your place look inviting.

Create a seating area with some inexpensive outdoor furniture. Scour garage sales or catch a sale at Home Depot or Target. Put up an umbrella for shade and use inexpensive pavers or deck tiles to define the space. Stage it for outdoor dining and you’ve just created valuable, usable space buyers can see themselves enjoying.

Outdoor Furniture

9. Steal a few staging tips

Hire a professional stager and it can set you back a couple thousand dollars. But you can steal a few of their most important tricks for free. Cleaning like you’ve never cleaned before, decluttering, and paring down your furniture to create inviting seating areas will allow buyers to see the space instead of your stuff (or your mess).

10. Window coverings

If your window coverings are ugly, old, and not doing your house justice, or if they’re keeping too much light from streaming into the home, consider taking them down. Natural light is high on almost every buyer’s must-have list. You can purchase inexpensive drapes at any big box store that you can use to frame the windows – but remember to keep them open at showings, and to clean your windows first!

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

8 EASY AND CHEAP THINGS YOU CAN DO TO TRANSFORM YOUR BATHROOM

Cringing every time you walk into your bathroom? You don’t need to rip the whole thing out. “Reviving a tired washroom needn’t require a total overhaul,” said This Old House.

Indeed, small changes can help make it feel new again, and many of them are easy enough for you to do by yourself. Careful attention to the right materials can also keep these updates super affordable.

1. Paint

Choose a neutral color if you want a soothing backdrop for pops of color in your accessories, or a bolder shade that can create a glam space.

Or, “Create a striking monochromatic effect by painting walls to match your floors, as was done in this sunny space,” said This Old House.

This Old House

This Old House

2. Forget the walls; paint your vanity instead!

A painted vanity can take your bathroom from blah to beautiful in an instant. Adding some bold hardware and matching fixtures is the extra touch that your bathroom needs to really shine. Here, the golden hues play beautifully off of the turquoise and white, but chrome would work equally well.

Decor Pad
décor pad

3. Replace your vanity

If your vanity’s not worth salvaging, it might be time for a new one. The DIY Network calls a vanity replacement an “easy bathroom makeover” and provides step-by-step instructions. When it comes to what to replace the old one with, you can scour stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot for sales or check out places like Second and Surplus. This 24-inch, soft close vanity with undermount sink is only $299.

Seconds and Surplus
Seconds and Surplus

4. Address your floors

If your bathroom floors are grungy or grimy, a good scrubbing with a heavy-duty product is step one. But if your tile is old and ugly or you have vinyl that’s seen better days, it might just be time to replace it. Laying new flooring might not be a DIY job depending what you have (We tried to do our own tile once, and we won’t be repeating that mistake anytime soon.).

Our easy answer for ugly floors we’re not ready to replace: a good throw rug. It’s an easy and cheap, albeit temporary solution that can help distract you from a poor floor. Tip: get the biggest size you can find, which may mean buying a rug that’s not necessarily intended for the bathroom. Be sure to ask the sales associate if the material is water resistant or you could end up with a mold problem.

Timberline Custom Homes
Timberline Custom Homes

5. Create a spa shower

You don’t need thousands to create a shower that feels like you’re in a resort. The Dreamspa Temperature Sensitive LED Combination Shower Head is under $80, and gives you a three-way water diverter, 30 water flow patterns, and even changes colors depending on the water temperature.

Prefer a rainhead? “They’re softer and less grating, making each shower feel like a special occasion, not an obligation,” said Elle Decor. “It doesn’t have to be a big investment, either: This highly-rated rainfall-style showerhead costs less than $40.

6. Add shelving

Whether you lack storage or just want to add a focal point to your walls, open shelving may be your answer.

Care2
Care2

7. Cover up problem walls

Walls not looking so great? In many older homes, the texture can be uneven or problematic, and paint may not do the trick. Installing beadboard is an easy solution you can do on your own.

“Thriftier than most wall tile and less maintenance than wood, beadboard paneling made from cellular PVC stands up to sloshing and never needs to be painted,” said This Old House. If white is too traditional for you, that’s nothing a can of paint can’t fix.

Pinterest
Pinterest

8. Change out your lighting

You’d be surprised how big an impact a new light fixture can make in your bathroom. Not only will it bring a fresh, new focal point, but the light it gives off may also improve the entire look of the room. This easy DIY job can be done in a jif- the hardest part will probably picking out your new fixture!

Decoist
Decoist

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

Top 10 Home Apps to Download Now

With smartphones, wireless technology, and nearly continuous connectivity, the options to help you manage and upgrade your home are just a click away. Dozens of free or low-cost home apps can help with every project and chore – ranging from starting a budget-friendly luxury home design project to managing your smart home technology.

But which ones are the best to download? There are literally millions of apps available—including 1.6 million for Android devices and over 1.5 million apps for Apple devices—and it can be challenging to even stumble upon the ones that are useful. Here, we’ve gathered 10 of our favorites that are both easy to use and helpful for managing, maintaining and upgrading your home.

SnapGuide
snapguide

Snapguide app for DIY projects

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS
Category: DIY Home projects

This how-to app is a crowd-sourced guide of home design projects. It contains everything from refreshing furniture with colorful paint and homemade throw pillows to more complex projects like building a stone fireplace with a wood-burning stove or a barn door. There are also snap guides for gardening, cooking, entertaining, and more. You can show off your own handiwork by creating your own guide to share through the app.

TapPainter

tappainter-ipad-header
Tappainter app for home decor

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS
Category: Home design – painting

Adding paint in the right color can make your space feel vibrant and fresh. But it can feel intimidating to add interior color other than a new shade of white or beige. TapPainter is a home app that lets you try out new hues before shelling out for the gallons of custom-mixed color. Take a photo of your space and TapPainter will analyze the change in interior lighting and adjust the color brightness based on the lighting in the photo. You’ll instantly see if that rich red will make the room too dark, or if that bright yellow looks sickly fluorescent. And you won’t have to fear adding color on your walls.

ColorSnap Visualizer

colorsnap-visualizer
ColorSnap Visualizer from Sherwin-Williams

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android
Category: Home design – painting

Some of the most harmonious color combinations are found in nature—think of a beautiful mountain landscape, a beach scene, the desert, or an open field of wildflowers. With this Sherwin-Williams branded home app, you can take any one of your favorite photos and use it for paint color inspiration. The app will let you match colors in the photo into a coordinating Sherwin-Williams paint palette that will give your space a warm and inviting feel. Or use the tool to match paint colors to coordinate with existing furnishings, bedding, pillows, or anything else in your space.

Adornably

Adornably
Adornably furniture design app

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS
Category: Home design

Before you invest in an expensive new sofa or any upholstered furniture, snap a picture of your space and start using Adornably to virtually redecorate. The home app allows you to place furniture and customize the upholstery to find a smart new look before you buy. Once you find a piece that looks the way you want it, you can order it through the app. Instead of waiting months to get your new furniture, the custom pieces typically leave the factory within a week of ordering.

Home Depot

home-depot
Home depot home remodeling app

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android
Category: Home design

Start any DIY home design project, or get ideas for refreshing your space, from the comfort of your couch. This shopping and remodeling home app will help you get ideas for renovating your kitchen or bathroom, improving your outdoor space, upgrading to better lighting, installing ceiling fans, adding hardwood flooring, and more. You can make and save shopping lists, find item quickly in your local store and even check on inventory to make sure it’s in stock. Purchase items right through the app and pick them up in your local store, or have them shipped directly to your front door.

iScape

iscape
iscape landscaping app

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android
Category: Outdoor landscaping

A beautifully landscaped yard can give your home instant curb appeal. But before you start digging up the yard or buy several flats of flowers, you can pre-plan your gardening and landscaping with iScape. The intuitive, visual planning tool lets you snap a photo of your yard and start dragging and dropping new landscape features. You can change out the grass, add in flowerbeds, trees, planters, and lawn ornaments into your design. Once you’ve created your virtual landscape design, you can use your finished image as a guide for your own DIY project or to clearly communicate your design ideas to a hired landscaper.

SmartThings

smartthings_app
SmartThings app

App cost: Free + SmartThings kit ($300)
Platform: iOS
Category: Smart home control

SmartThings turns your iPhone into a remote control for all of your devices. You will need to add the SmartThings kit—which comes with a hub and variety of sensors—to network all of your appliances and convert them into smart devices. The system can add security with motion sensors and capture activity in your home via video. It allows you to control and automate lighting and energy settings to maximize efficiency and savings. And you can have your appliances automatically brew your coffee, start cooking dinner, or play your wakeup music on your pre-programmed schedule. And in case you leave the TV on after leaving the house, you can easily turn it off remotely via the app.

Ninja Blocks

Ninja_blocks_app
Ninja blocks smart home app

App cost: Free + Ninja Block hardware ($200)
Platform: iOS and Android
Category: Smart home control

Fully connect your home to your smartphone through Ninja Blocks. The hardware and app combination allow you to seamlessly merge the controls of your smart lights, power, media, monitors and motion sensors without complicated wiring and configuration. The difference with Ninja Blocks is that it’s the ultimate device for technology enthusiasts who like to tinker. The open source platform allows anyone to code for their own Ninja Blocks. You’re encouraged to customize and hack your hardware and design the controls to work the way you want them to work.

Handy

handy_app
Handy home cleaning and repair services app

App cost: Free
Platform: iOS and Android
Category: Home maintenance

Don’t have time to clean your house, or need a little extra help to get the job done regularly? Use the Handy app to find a vetted cleaner who can take care of those chores. Their roster of experienced professionals who have been background-checked and insured, are available as soon as the next day for cleaning services. Handy’s cleaning services are currently in 35 cities, and some locations also have home repair and handyman services, such as furniture assembly, TV and shelf mounting, interior painting, and moving help.

HomeSpot HQ

HomeSpot-HQ
HomeSpot HQ home maintenance app

App cost: Free
Platform: Web-based app – all platform
Category: Home maintenance

HomeSpot HQ will help you keep track of all of your home’s maintenance and improvement projects all in one place. It delivers any reminders that you set – for example, changing the A/C filters or the smoke detector batteries, cleaning out the gutters—so that you never forget to take care of routine chores. Make to-do task lists and shopping lists and use the weekend planner to get bigger improvement projects done. The app also allows you to organize user manuals, paint colors, and part numbers in your account so you never misplace important repair information.

Do you have any favorite home apps not included in this list? Let us know about them in the comments.

Are you planning a home improvement project to prepare your home for resale? If so, be sure to contact your trusted real estate professional for advice on how to list and price your property to maximize your profit.

Position Realty
Office: 480-213-5251

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