Selling Your Home

3 Staging Mistakes You Don't Want to Make

Staging can be a great way to enhance your space and make it sparkle during showings, photoshoots or open houses. That being said, there is a right way to stage a home and a wrong way. Here are some classic mistakes that both DIY stagers and professionals sometimes make:

Going Beige and Boring
Many people will tell you that neutral colours appeal to the largest sector of people and that these shades make spaces look larger. While these are both somewhat true, it doesn’t mean everything has to get painted beige and sleepy! There are plenty of other neutrals you can use, and a small feature wall can really show off a space effectively too.

Moving Your Furniture to the Perimeter
Many people think that pushing your furniture against the walls of a room will make a space...

Expert Insights: Can the Seller Also Include Contingencies in a Contract?

Yes. For example, if you decide to sell your existing home first before buying another one, you can make the sale of your home contingent on finding a replacement home.

Some sellers opt for this contingency to avoid a double move, such as moving to a hotel or rental until a new home is found and made available.

However, there is one problem with this type of contingency: It can inconvenience the buyer, particularly if his/her own home is in escrow. He/she may not be willing to wait for you to move.

This strategy has a better chance of working when the market is relatively strong, your home is a rare find, the price and terms of the transaction are very favorable for the buyer, or the buyer is in no hurry to move.

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Small Ways You Can Declutter Every Day

Do you look around your living space at the end of the busy work week and think, “What happened?” Piles of mail, dirty laundry and dishes are lurking around every corner. Between work and family, it can be hard to carve out the time to clear clutter. Below are three tips to manage clutter daily.

Make a clutter clearing playlistAt the end of the day, choose one or two songs, put them on and do a surface clean. Put the laundry away, empty the dishwasher and clear the kitchen table. By the time your chosen tracks are up—roughly six to eight minutes—your place will look a lot better, and so will your mental state.

Set yourself up for success. By having designated areas for the items that end up laying around, you will be more...

4 Ways to Slash Utility Bills With a DIY Energy Audit

Fixing a few of your home’s most likely trouble spots can improve energy efficiency and save you a bundle on utility bills. Consumer editors at ThisOldHouse.com provide a starting point for your DIY energy audit:

Drafty Windows
On a windy day, close all windows and exterior doors, as well as the chimney flue damper. Light a stick of incense, move it around the perimeter of each window and watch for air that stirs the rise of smoke. If you find a culprit, scrape out any cracked or dried caulk on the outside where the casing meets the siding. Apply a fresh bead of paintable acrylic latex, such as DAP’s Alex Plus. For doors, add new weather stripping. The work may shave off up to $20 from your annual bill for each window and...

Homeowners: Know How to Complete These Basic Tasks

Owning a home is infinitely rewarding but issues do pop up, and there’s no need to call a handyman every time something goes haywire. The home repair experts at HGTV suggest four things every homeowner should know how to do:

Change smoke detector batteries. Do this twice a year or anytime you hear a loud chirping. Get up on a ladder and twist the body of the unit off the bracket. If it isn’t hardwired, it will completely remove. Change the battery and twist it back in place.

Find the main water shut-off valve. If you ever come home to a flooded floor, you need to be able to shut off the water to the whole house ASAP, especially if the source of the water leak is unclear. That’s why every...

5 Renovations That Net the Most When You Sell

When it comes to major home remodeling, there is more involved than money. Your home is more than your largest investment—it’s where you and your family live. If you love your neighborhood, your school district and your commute, and you plan to stay for many years, then remodeling to improve your family’s daily life makes sense.

But unless you plan to stay for the long haul, it pays to know which renovations will add the most resale value when you sell. From the 2018 Cost vs. Value Report published in Remodeling magazine, here are the five interior remodeling projects that deliver the highest return:

Garage Door Replacement
Curb appeal is important. Replacing an existing garage door with a new four-section garage door with heavy-duty galvanized steel tracks can cost...

Should You Refinance Your Mortgage?

Sometimes people take out a mortgage and are forced to accept less-than-favorable terms because of a low credit score or a high debt-to-income ratio. In other cases, homebuyers choose a mortgage that has a fixed rate for a specific number of years and then convert to an adjustable rate. That can save money in the short term, but when the interest rate is recalculated, monthly payments can skyrocket, causing homeowners to struggle to meet their obligations.

If you’ve been having trouble covering your monthly mortgage payments, refinancing the loan could be the solution. Refinancing could allow you to lock in a lower interest rate and significantly reduce your monthly payments.

Lower Costs
If your interest rate is higher than you’d like, refinancing your mortgage...

Should You Finish Your Basement?

When you were shopping for a house, you were probably so focused on the number of bedrooms, the size of the living room and the layout of the kitchen that you didn’t give much thought to the basement. An unfinished basement can be a great place for storage, but finishing it can increase your living space significantly.

Benefits of Finishing Your Basement
If your house feels a little too small for your growing family, finishing the basement could be the solution. You can convert the basement into a bedroom, a family room or a game room where you can hang out and relax as a family. Finishing the basement may cost much less than you would need to spend to build an addition.

One of the biggest problems with unfinished basements is that they’re often damp, which leads to mold. Finishing...

Signs That Your Siding Needs to Be Replaced

The siding on your house protects it from wind and rain, provides insulation to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature, and makes it attractive to visitors. Siding is designed to last a long time, but it can eventually wear out. Sometimes the damage is easy to spot, and in other cases the siding may look fine, but you may experience problems in other areas.

Problems with Siding

Sometimes the damage to siding is obvious. Pieces may be rotted, cracked or warped, which means they’re no longer able to provide the protection your house needs.

Pieces of siding may become loose. If the problem is not addressed, the siding can eventually fall right off the house.

Bubbles may form below the surface of siding. That means water has gotten trapped under the siding....

Which Home Improvements Offer the Best Return on Investment?

Remodeling your house can be a major investment. Depending on the type of project you choose, you could spend up to tens of thousands of dollars. You want to know that you’re making a wise investment that will pay off should you decide to sell your house in the future.

Prioritize

As a general rule, it’s better to make upgrades that will repair or maintain the basic structure of the house before adding amenities. A modern kitchen with sparkling new appliances is great, but prospective buyers won’t care about that if the roof is leaking and they will need to spend thousands of dollars to replace it shortly after moving into the house. Many buyers purchase a house expecting to make some improvements. They would rather spend a moderate amount of money upgrading the kitchen or bathroom when they are ready...