Articles Tagged "Home Maintenance "

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Belleville | 34 Posts
Buying a Home | 7 Posts
Home Improvement | 21 Posts
Lifestyle | 1 Posts
Sell Your Home | 5 Posts
September
19

Home Addition

If your home no longer fits your needs, you might be thinking of building an addition. A new wing, great room, or even bedroom can make your current house feel more like your home. You may also consider an addition if you find an awesome home for sale that's simply lacking in a few ways. We've seen plenty of Belleville homes for sale with additions that blend in well with the original architecture. Here are some key things to know if you're thinking about having an addition built.

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August
15

Front Yard Tips

You took your time looking at Belleville homes for sale, finally found the right one, and moved in. Now, you're looking at your front yard and thinking it could use a refresh. Sound familiar? You're not alone. Front yards do need a little revitalization from time to time to keep them looking fresh and inviting. Here are some ways you can spruce up your front yard and enhance your home's curb appeal. 

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July
5

Furniture Tips

Are you feeling dissatisfied with your home? If it's starting to feel a little stale or like it doesn't meet your needs anymore, it could just be that it's time to rearrange your furniture. Changing your room arrangements can breathe new life into your home and remind you why you love it. Or if you're getting it ready to list, rearranging your furniture can help stage the space better for potential buyers. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for a winning room arrangement.

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June
20

Kitchen Tips

Tired of having to search through multiple cabinets to locate the pot or pan you're looking for? Feel like your cabinets and drawers have a lot of wasted space?

Organizing your kitchen helps you quickly find what you're looking for and makes cooking more enjoyable. Follow these tips from our real estate agents to get your kitchen organized and clutter-free. 

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May
2

Down Payment Tips

The spring real estate market is here and is sure to continue to heat up! If you are looking into Belleville homes for sale, you are likely considering the down payment you'll have to invest. Saving adequate money for the down payment is a hurdle for many, but a solid savings plan makes homeownership possible. Our real estate agents have compiled an easy guide below to get you closer to owning your dream home.

Most homeowners hesitate to start the homebuying journey because they can't make a 20% down payment. While many mortgage lenders demand a 20% down payment, you can put as little as 3% down with a fixed-rate conventional loan. You may pay for even less or no down payment if you qualify for a VA or USDA loan.

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April
4

Home Coffee Station

One popular feature in today's kitchens is a coffee station. While some people design their kitchen remodels with dedicated space for a coffee station, you can get the same effect in your kitchen today while making minimal changes. Here are a few ways our real estate agents recommend incorporating a coffee station in your kitchen.

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February
21

Spring Cleaning

Spring will be here before you know it! If you're like most people, once the seasons change, you'll focus on cleaning your home and getting it ready for the warmer months ahead. It's not too early to start planning your spring cleaning routine, especially if you're planning on listing your home in the near future. Our real estate agents have some tips to help you with your spring cleaning endeavors. 

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December
6

Holiday Selling Tips

The holidays are just around the corner, so it's time to fill your home with seasonal decor that creates an inviting atmosphere. While the holidays can be a difficult time to sell your home, our real estate agents have some staging tips that will impress holiday buyers.

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November
1

Interior Design

Did you know that National Stress Awareness Day is on November 3rd? This important day always falls on the first Wednesday in November, as Wednesday is typically the most difficult and stressful day for Monday-through-Friday workers. The day was made an event by the International Stress Management Association (ISMA) to recognize how much stress people carry and the harm it does both physically and psychologically, as well as to promote methods of managing stress.

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October
18

Cozy Fall Home

Fall is the ideal time to make a few cozy upgrades to your home. A cozy, inviting home makes the transition from long summer days to shorter, chillier fall days (and eventually frigid winter days) less daunting. 

When it's time to add your property to the inventory of Belleville homes for sale, potential buyers will appreciate these homey, inviting upgrades. Here are a few projects to add to your to-do list. 

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September
20

Walkway Ideas

As if landscape design hadn't been breaking new frontiers in recent years in so many inventive ways, here comes the latest: outdoor walkway ideas that promise to dazzle your visitors and set the neighborhood talking. Whether your walkway design is brick, wood, stone, tile, or gravel, it can become a real talking point -- or selling point, if you plan to list your home among Belleville homes for sale.

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August
16

Belleville Security

When you have a home that you love, it's important to have security features to keep you and your family safe. 

Our real estate agents know that a few simple changes make a significant difference in the security of your property; these upgrades also make your home appealing to potential buyers. Here are some security upgrades to consider adding to your home. 

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July
5

Outdoor Updates

When you're getting ready to list your home on the market, many sellers primarily focus on their home's interior, but it's important to remember your outdoor space too. Your home's exterior is your first chance to make a good impression on potential buyers. A beautiful exterior is an excellent way to attract attention to your listing. 

Our real estate agents always encourage sellers to focus on sprucing up their outdoor space before listing their home, as it can actually have a positive impact on the home value and sale price. Below are some tips to help you get started today:

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June
7

Gutter Maintenance

Homeowners routinely forget about their gutters when it comes to warm weather maintenance chores. However, there are a number of reasons you should check your gutters each year so that they're in good working order and you avoid potential damage to your roof. If you're listing your home among Belleville homes for sale, you should check out your gutters to ensure they are in good repair. Here's the lowdown on gutter maintenance for the summer.

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May
17

Home Office Tips

So many of us are spending more and more time working from home these days, so there has never been a better time to revamp your home office. Whether you want to impress your colleagues during your video conference call or simply want a more comfortable working space, improving your home office will improve your happiness and productivity. Our real estate agents love creating beautiful home offices, and they've been compiled a list of tips for giving your working space a refresh: 

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April
19

Home Improvement ShowsHome improvement shows are perfect for lazy weekend binge-watching. An easy home renovation that's completed over the weekend and delivers dreamy results (complete with décor accessories) – who wouldn't want that? The popularity of home renovation shows has dramatically skyrocketed and perhaps changed the way viewers think about buying and renovating a home. However, things that happen on these shows are out of line with reality and can be misleading if you're looking to remodel or buy Belleville homes for sale. As you enjoy these shows, take everything with a healthy dose of cynicism. Here are some important things the shows get wrong.

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February
15

Indoor Garden Tips

Some plants take a lot longer to grow than others, which can be challenging for us gardeners who live in cold weather climates. But there is a secret to getting ahead start on the season: start your garden indoors!

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January
4

Belleville Clean Home

Sure, you worked hard all spring and summer with DIY and cleaning projects, but we bet you overlooked something. Plus, now that the holidays have come and gone, chances are you've let some things slide in your cleaning routine. Be sure to follow these tips for getting your home sparkling clean this winter. Once you're finished, if you need help listing your home or buying a house from Belleville homes for sale, your local real estate agents are ready to help.

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August
3

Deep Clean Your Home

While cleanliness is always a feature of Belleville homes for sale, the concept has taken on a whole new importance this year. Protect your family and display your new home in its best light with this guide to pre-move-in deep cleaning. 

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July
20

July Gardening

By the time July rolls around, many people believe planting season has come and gone - but the truth is, July can be the perfect time to plant many edibles and herbs from seed. Many cooler weather plants only need about 60 days to fully mature. Since the first frost can be as late as October or early November in Illinois, mid-summer is the right time to be thinking about a second harvest. 

Maintaining a garden is not only a great hobby, but it can also significantly improve the appearance of your outdoor space. For those who are planning to put their home on the market this fall, starting a mid-summer garden can be a great way to make your yard more appealing to potential buyers and compete with other Belleville homes for sale. 

If you're looking to spruce up your yard this summer, below are 5 plants you can easily add to your garden this July: 

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May
4

Unfinished Basement IdeasYour unfinished basement may be a useful space for storing unsightly odds and ends. However, you can take things a step further and add to your home's habitable square footage by converting the basement into anything from a workout room to an entertainment area.

Our REALTORS® can give you ideas to get you started. Your finished basement could turn into one of your home's most desirable selling points -- yet another way to stand out from other Belleville homes for sale.

Have a look at these five suggestions for your unfinished basement.

  1. Renovate Your Storage Area 
    There's no reason your basement has to look like a garage sale. First, clean it up and remove clutter. Do an assessment: are you ever going to use that rolled up rug of Aunt Sally's again? Get rid of it, and anything else you haven't used in several years. Next step: clean up, repairing broken drywall, adding insulation in the walls for better climate control, and fixing air leaks to the outdoors. Then, organize with neat shelving (use shelf paper wherever you can), pegboard for tools. Store clothing, books, and odds and ends in plastic containers that will fit in the shelves. 

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April
6

Stainless Steel Cleaning

Stainless steel appliances lend an air of sleek, modern elegance to any kitchen -- but only if they're gleaming and smudge-free. As you go about your spring cleaning, be sure to spiff up your stainless steel appliances, as well as your sinks. It's not difficult, and shining it up to polished perfection will make a great impression on a potential buyer. 

How to Make Your Stainless Steel Shine

To make stainless steel appliances shine, address those messy fingerprint smudges, water drips, and food splatters as soon as they happen. Fortunately, stainless steel is fairly easy to clean.

Stainless steel cleaner is highly recommended. It's also a good choice to prevent scratching the steel. However, there are other products you can use. But do avoid steel wool, bleach, ammonia, and scouring powder, or you'll diminish the steel's shine. Mineral-laden tap water may also leave stains. You should also avoid any chlorine-based cleaners or anything with chloride in it. 

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March
16

Moving Tips

With so much to do after a big move, it's easy to overlook some smaller details. Things you'd never forget normally can slip through the cracks when you're celebrating – and resting up! – after moving into one of the great Belleville homes for sale.

Our REALTORS® strive to make every part of buying a home more comfortable, including the move. Many of our clients have reached out with stories of things they forgot to take care of, so we decided to delve deeper and find out what goes undone the most.

In the chaos of packing and unpacking, important administrative tasks can fall by the wayside. And the further you're moving, the more valuable it is to remember to do those things promptly.

Let's take a closer look at five things people forget to do after they move:

  1. Turn Utilities On (And Off) Before Moving Day
    It may take up to two weeks to have electric and water service turned on at your new home, so contact utilities as soon as moving day is circled on the calendar. At the same time, be sure you notify existing utilities that you will be moving out. Service in your name must cease before new residents can move in and get everything under their own account.

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March
2

Belleville Greenhouses

The first day of spring is Tuesday, March 19 – and our REALTORS® are looking forward to it!

At Strano & Associates, we know people have many motivations for buying a home. Some are starting a family, others want to make space for their dogs, but one thing is for sure: Certain things are just more satisfying in your very own home.

Gardening is one of them!

Luckily, these greenhouses will get you off to a wonderful start on spring with gorgeous flowers, trees, and shrubs.

Here are our five favorites:

  1. Terry's Landscaping and Garden Center – 6200 New Missouri Avenue, Centreville IL, 62207
    Terry's Landscaping and Garden Center allows you to get landscaping advice from experts with more than 20 years of experience. The perfect way to bring color and the personal touch to Centreville homes for sale, its fully-stocked nursery and garden center includes all your favorite trees, shrubs, roses, annuals, and perennials.

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February
17

Tips for Flipping HousesYou've probably seen all the house flipping shows on TV and wondered to yourself what it would take to get started in the flipping game. There are a lot of pieces that need to be in place to successfully flip a house for a profit, but luckily our REALTORS® are here to help. Here's what you need to know before you get started. 

  1. Know the Risks
    When done correctly, flipping a house can be an excellent investment. It could also end up costing you thousands if something goes wrong, so it's important to understand the risks. What looks like a great investment property could have hidden defects like a leaky roof or cracked foundation that end up souring the deal, so it's important to do your homework on each property.
  2. Understand Your Financing Options
    Because of the risks involved in flipping a house, it's essential to know exactly how you're going to finance the process before starting. While it may not be an option for everyone, it's best to buy houses in cash if possible, because it eliminates the added complications and costs that come with loans and interest while you're trying to flip a property. 
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January
13

Energy Efficient Belleville

Improving energy-efficiency within your home will trim a significant sum from your monthly utility bills. It will also enhance the home's curb appeal in an increasingly eco-conscious real estate market. As you think about the things you can do to reduce your energy usage, our real estate agents recommend you pay close attention to the following:

  1. Upgrade Your Appliances
    A new washer/dryer, refrigerator, oven, and dishwasher can shave hundreds of dollars from your gas, electric, and water bills each year. More importantly, these upgrades give your home a modern appeal enhancing the home's value in the eyes of prospective buyers.
  2. Invest in Insulation
    Adding new insulation with a higher R-value in the attic and crawlspaces can shave hundreds of dollars per year off your heating and cooling bills. Moreover, your investment in insulation pays roughly a 1:1 return in terms of real estate value. 

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December
30

Winter Curb Appeal TipsEverything tends to look a little gray and dreary in the winter, so if you're selling your home during this season, you'll have to pay particular attention to curb appeal. The weather might be colder, but your home should still look warm and inviting. Winter curb appeal can make your home look more vibrant and inviting when compared to other area homes.

Our real estate agents recommend the following 8 ways to improve your winter curb appeal:

  1. Add Color to Your Porch
    If your home has a porch, add a pop of color with a few brightly colored rocking chairs with cozy outdoor cushions and blankets. Even if it's too cold for prospective owners to have a seat, they'll be attracted to a cheery color in cold weather and may imagine themselves relaxing in them when warmer temperatures come.
  2. Boost Outdoor Lighting
    Since it gets dark earlier in the winter than during other times of year, some buyers may be viewing your home when it's dark. Add outdoor illumination such as pathway lights on the side of your front door to make your home sparkle while helping keep guests safe.

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