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Blog Archive for January, 2012

Carpet Care

Categories: Featured, Home Building 101, Homeowner Tips | Posted: January 17, 2012

Source

If you purchased an inventory home from us, you most likely have a home that includes an upgraded carpet from either Mohawk or Shaw.  Upgraded carpets are our first choice in our inventory homes because they have longer warranties than base grade carpet.  They also include Stain and Soil Resistant Technologies that are better than the base grade which translates into happier homeowners for us!

Have you ever stopped to think that in most homes, the carpet is the largest area covered that takes a beating daily?  Most homeowners are concerned with how to take care of their carpet and prevent spills from staining.  Did you know there is a difference between “Soil” and “Stain”?  A stain is the red dye left over from a Gatorade spill.  Soil is the dirt that can penetrate in between the fibers causing a darkening of the look of the carpet.  Our upgraded Shaw carpets all have R2X technology which is a wash of the fibers that combines a stain and soil resistance which is better than a topical treatment (like spraying Scotchguard on your carpet before you move in) which only affects the topmost fibers of your carpet.  Mohawk uses a similar wash technique for their Revive technology.

Here are some great carpet care tips compiled from the Shaw and Mowhak websites.

  • Preventative measures like mats at outside entry areas can reduce the amount of soil tracked into your home.
  • Move your furniture around.  This can refresh the pile under heavy pieces.
  • Clean area rugs often and check for colorfastness before laying them over your carpet.
  • Vacuuming.  Did you know it’s not just a once a week chore?  In heavy traffic areas of your home, you should vacuum the traffic lanes daily and the entire area twice weekly.  One pass of the vacuum is not enough either-up to three passes for light soiling and five to seven passes for heavy soiling.  Change the vacuum direction on each pass to refresh the pile and prevent matting.
  • Cut burned parts of carpet with curved nail scissors.
  •  Always blot spills, never rub or scrub aggressively.  Here is a quick link for specific spill instructions from Shaw.  Here is another one from Mohawk.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned by hot water extraction, most commonly known as “Steam Cleaning” every twelve to eighteen months depending on the number of occupants in the home

I Want To Buy A New Home, But I Already Own One. Help!

Categories: Homeowner Tips, Master Builder Musings | Posted: December 20, 2011

Clutter Free for a Quick Sale!

Most folks only sell 2 or 3 homes in their lifetime.  In order to sell it quickly and for the highest price, and buy the home you really want, you’ll want to appeal to the most people possible in the marketplace. Below are some great tips that our selling experts can teach you about selling your existing home.

Cater to the lazy person

Most buyers want to move in and unpack. By getting your home ready before you sell, it could mean a much faster sale at a higher price.

Box it up

Your home is where you spend the majority of your time, so there may be things in your home that you love, but others see as clutter.  Most people pack up their home after they sell it, but why wait?  Sellers should pack up things before they put it on the market.   This will allow potential buyers to see how large the rooms are and “picture” their own items in the home, not yours.  Take down the personal pictures, mounted deer head and photos.  One potential buyer could be an animal lover and another potential buyer could be a political activist.  No one can tell who will view the home.  The typical time that a buyer spends in a home on the first visit is 20 minutes.   You want the focus of the buyer to be entirely on the house and how their possessions will look in your space.

Focal Points

Remember that most buyers spend most of their time analyzing a home in the kitchen and family room.  If you need to spend money (such as painting) put it in these rooms first.  Then, pick a spot to focus their attention in every room.  For example, the focal point of a bedroom is usually the bed.  Make sure the bedspreads and pillows look fresh and well made. 

Kitchens

Clear off the clutter.  Remove the coffee pots, the plants, the blenders and the bread.  Remove it all.  Give a clean look to the kitchen.  You can make a stainless steel sink shine with thrifty cleaning remedies such as baby oil or club soda.

Polish the hardwoods and clean the floors

Call the experts for this.  A good carpet cleaning from a professional will cost about $180 in a typical 2000 foot home.   Practically any beaten up hardwood can be salvaged with refinishing.  Cost?  About $340 to $900 for a 15’x15’ room.  Call a professional to clean the grout or plan to spend an entire afternoon scrubbing the grout lines to your tile.  Zep is a grout cleaner that is easily available (check Lowe’s and Home Depot) and used in commercial applications.   Little scrubbing is required, but be sure to follow the directions.  An investment of $100 can give you thousands more in the price of an offer on your home.

Brighten up your Home

Buyers today want lots of light filled rooms.  Install higher wattage light bulbs and make sure to open all the curtains and blinds completely when showing the home.  New light fixtures are a way to create ambience. 

Paint

A few gallons of paint can go a long way in making a home more chic and the cost can’t be beat.  Covering a 12×12 room with two coats of paint will cost about $50.  Use up-to-date neutral colors.  Reserve any trendier or darker colors for accent walls or to highlight details such as a fireplace or arched doorway.  Common color picks for accent walls are green, (not lime), stone grey or dark red.  Or, instead of introducing a new color, use the paint in the rest of the room as a guide and choose a color that’s 3 shades darker than the rest.  Paint the baseboards with a fresh coat of white paint, but don’t use a stark white, which can take on gray tones against some wall colors.  

Find Inspiration for your Projects

Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware and Williams Sonoma all have some great design ideas. 

Don’t forget about all the senses

A house can be perfect inside and out, but if it smells bad, buyers will likely be put off.  Make sure there is not noticeable odor, such as pet smells, garbage, stale smoke, etc that will turn off others.   It’s a good idea to use a room freshener (plug-ins are great, vanilla is best) in the home, but make sure that there isn’t a different fragrance used in each room of the home.  Another great idea is to pour a bottle of Pine-fresh in the back of a toilet before a showing.  Your whole house will smell clean and fresh.

Don’t guess on the Pricing

Asking price is the single most important reason that a property does not sell.  In this buyer’s market, it is a mistake to set a high price and assume that you can lower it later, if necessary, in negotiations.  Area real estate agents pay the most attention to listings when they first appear on the market.  These days, they might not even bother to show your home to buyers if it is overpriced.  If you start out too high, by the time you lower your price, real estate agents will have newer listings to show buyers.  The buyers who do see your home will view your price cut as a sign of desperation and bid low.  Pricing your home as a slight bargain will ensure that as many buyers as possible will walk through your door.

Good luck!  If you need information about how to save 75% off the typical Realtor listing fee, come visit with our sales consultants and ask about our Move-Up Program which gives you access to top producing Realtors and world class service.  The Antares Move-Up program success rate has averaged 96% during the economic downturn (the past 3 years).  Come and see us to find out how the program can make a difference to you.