Posts in November 2021

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Selling Your Home When You Have Pets

November 30, 2021
Your family undoubtedly loves your furry friends, but potential homebuyers might not. Pets make messes, their smells can linger, and their fur – as you well know – gets everywhere. If you’re looking to sell your home, you’ll want to take care to keep your pets’ presence to a minimum. Here are some tips for making your home show-ready even when you’re living with pets.Scrub and Vacuum Away Traces of Your PetsGet ready to put in some time and serious elbow grease. The first tip is too deep clean every inch of your house to remove pet stains, odors, fur, and dander. You can opt to do it yourself or hire a team of professionals to take on this arduous task. Beyond the typical vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping, you will also want to scrub baseboards, walls, furniture, and cabinet tops. Don’t forget how well fabric holds smells! Launder all your linens and towels, clean your carpet and curtains, and wash anything that might have come in contact with your pets. Cover Their TracksAdd this to your prep list for showings: Hide the evidence of your pets. You don’t want buyers greeted by the sight of a litter box or tripped by an errant dog toy.Here are some things to consider:• Clean litter boxes, then move them out of the way.• Collect and put away dog toys, both inside and in the yard.• Move dog crates, cat carriers, etc. to somewhere out of sight.• Bring cat towers or other pet structures to your garage or basement.• Put water and food bowls in your pantry or under the kitchen sink. Get Rid of the SmellYou want buyers to feel comfortable, and at home the moment they set foot into your house. You can’t achieve that if the smell of animals greets them. You might not notice it, but people from outside your home will be able to tell you to have a pet right away. Destroy the smell (instead of just masking it with a candle) by using a pet-safe deodorizer spray, such as Nature’s Miracle, Angry Orange Pet Odor Eliminator, or Rocco & Roxie Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator. These products all work immediately to eliminate pet odor without being toxic to your animals. Consider investing in an air purifier with a HEPA filter for really tough smells – or a house with a lifetime of animal inhabitants.Repair Damage from Your Furry FriendsBaseboard scratches? Floor scuffs? Furniture showing claw marks? These are all sure signs a pet lives in your home, even if you’ve completely gotten rid of any odors. It’s time to fix these issues (or, at least, remove them from your home for now.) You can repair scratches on wooden baseboards or floors with wood putty. If your feet are beyond saving with a bit of putty, you might need to sand and refinish them. Another home remedy for scratches on wooden furniture – think the legs on your couch, kitchen table, or counter – is to rub them with a walnut. Tidy Up the YardDogs and cats are notorious for leaving presents in flower beds, gardens, and pretty much everywhere in the yard. Make sure you thoroughly clean up any waste in the yard. Beyond that, take care of any holes your pets might have dug, any signs of pests in your garden, or anything other sign of your pet’s presence. Clean up any destroyed chew toys and tennis balls. Make sure your backyard is as presentable and appealing as the inside of your home. Mow the grass, rake up leaves, cover holes or dirt patches, and make sure your flowers aren’t desperate for water. We all hold our pets near and dear to our hearts. But sometimes, we have to do a little extra for them. Selling your home with pets doesn’t have to be a hassle. Make sure you allocate time and money to cleaning up your home, deodorizing smells, and fixing lightly damaged things, and you’ll have no problem with showings. 

Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Holiday Entertaining

November 16, 2021
'Tis the season for entertaining! Be ready to welcome guests into your home with open arms and be prepared for stress-free holidays with these tips.Start the Pre-Holiday CleaningPre-holiday cleaning is important no matter how many holiday events you're planning. You might have accumulated quite a bit of unnecessary stuff over the last 18 months – we get it. Now's the time to take a moment at the start of the busy season to thoroughly clean and de-clutter your home. First, it's a great way to enter the winter and new year. Second, it'll mean less time spent cleaning in the days leading up to a big holiday event. Get rid of clutter throughout the house, give your kitchen a deep clean, replace light bulbs, restock bathrooms, and make sure guest rooms are set up. Deck the Halls What would the holiday season be without decorations? Lavishly decorate your home before events to ensure guests feel festive, cozy, and welcomed. You can opt for holiday-specific décor (Christmas trees, Thanksgiving cornucopias, winter window clings) or classic decorations that are more seasonal. Put up lights indoors and out to give your entire home a cheery feeling. And don't forget your entryway! This is the first room that welcomes guests, so you want it to be carefully decorated. If you can, make sure there's a bench available so guests can easily remove bulky boots or puffy winter coats. Be sure to add decorative lights here as well. Upgrade Spaces to MingleHoliday parties rarely end once the meal is finished. Guests will want to linger and mingle, so make sure you have spaces set up to accommodate that. If your guest list surpasses your furniture limit, set up comfortable folding chairs. Additionally, people tend to gravitate toward the kitchen. If your kitchen isn't set up to handle an entire crowd, gently steer people toward your living areas by keeping beverages and snacks in these communal areas along with ample places to sit.Prepare for Overnight GuestsIf family holiday gatherings tend to bring people from all over to your home, prepare your guest room and other sleeping areas for overnight guests. Change the bedding, restock guest bathrooms, and leave out clean towels for the morning. These details will save you the hassle of scrambling to find more pillows the day of and allow guests to stow away overnight bags before the party.Nail the Party PlanningWhether you're the sole host or a co-host with helpers, planning will make the day of the event run so much smoother – and allow you to enjoy it! Here's how you can nail the party planning:1. Send out invitations to your holiday events as early as possible. Make sure you request an RSVP so you can have an accurate headcount for meal planning. If you're asking guests to bring food in a potluck style, make sure you include a sign-up sheet or request a specific dish. Otherwise, you could end up with a table full of pies and nothing else!2. Plan the menu (and do all your shopping) well in advance. Avoid the last-minute grocery run for the critical ingredient in the main dish by preparing the food days before the event. Check and double-check your list to make sure you have everything you need to make the meal. If there are items you can make in advance and freeze – such as pies, casseroles, or bread – do that. Just make sure you remember to thaw those items the night before.3. Set the decorations, dining area, and other details the night before. If you set the table in advance, that's one less thing you'll have to worry about as you're checking the oven and making sure guests' glasses are filled.4. Meticulously plan out every food item if you're cooking a full meal. If you're cooking a full Thanksgiving meal yourself, create a schedule for the entire day. Determine what time the turkey needs to go in the oven when sides need to be started, what time each item goes in and out of the oven. Don't leave anything to chance! It's so easy to get distracted when you have a house full of people.And there you go! Follow these tips, and you'll be ready to host stand-out holiday events this year without added stress. 

Relocating? Here's What to Consider First

November 3, 2021
Relocating? Here's What to Consider First.Relocating out of state can be both thrilling and nerve-wracking. Sometimes at the same time! While you're facing a big move and life change, it doesn't have to be scary. Here are some tips to consider as you plan your move to make the process a little less daunting hopefully.Plan a Decent-Sized Relocation BudgetRelocating could cost more than you think. According to Home Advisor's data, moving out of state costs, on average, $4,568. Moving longer distances – across the country, for instance – could run you $10,000 or more.These costs factor in many different things. Here are just a few of the expenses you'll need to budget for:•. Selling your current home or ending a lease.•  A security deposit or down payment and closing costs.•. Moving furniture and other belongings.•. New or upgraded furniture (if you're moving into a bigger place).•. Utility fees, including set-up fees for internet and cable.•. General moving expenses.If you're relocating for a new job, your employer could cost some or all these expenses. Make sure you check in with the company to see what they offer for relocation assistance. Plan a Visit to Your New AreaWhether you're relocating in a few months or thinking a couple of years out, it's a good idea to visit the new city you're moving to. Plan a slightly longer trip so you can get a feel for the neighborhoods, the downtown areas, the nightlife, the local culture, and the public transportation system. Since you're already planning to live here, no need to take sightseeing trips or hit up must-see sites that won't help your survey, after all, you'll have plenty of time to do all these things when you live here! Research Your New AreaIf you're moving out of state, there's a lot of unknowns! Do your research before planning the big move. You'll want to understand the cost of living in this new area as well as any tax laws that might be different from where you currently reside. State tax changes could impact your homebuying journey and will undoubtedly affect your tax statements at the end of the year. If you're moving to a new state, you might end up paying income tax to multiple states. Additionally, you'll want to investigate any local laws that might be new to you. For example, some cities have specific traffic laws that could affect you while driving in your new city.Line Up a Job Before MovingYou might be relocating for a job, which means you can skip this step. If not, it might be a good idea to have a job lined up before you move. You can certainly start the job search while you're in the process of relocating but having a career in place will make the entire move less stressful. If you don't plan on getting hired somewhere locally, plan in-person interviews around your visit to the area. If You're Working Remote, Check on Benefits and Pay ChangesMany jobs offer remote work, so you might be able to expand your job search beyond your new city. Or you might be able to continue working at the same place you're at now. If you're planning to do the latter, you'll want to check on possible benefits or pay changes.Health insurance might be the most significant benefit that will be affected here. You'll likely need to switch plans if coverage doesn't extend to your new city. Providers in your area might not accept your insurance, or your copays and premiums might change.The cost of labor varies state by state, which means it's possible your pay could change depending on where you're moving – for better or worse. These shouldn't be deterrents to your relocation but additional factors in your decision.Planning a big move to a new state – or even across the country – is exciting! Take the time to prepare for your relocation, plan to visit, and start enjoying your new city right away, and you'll be set up to have an easier transition when the time comes. 
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