Claire LeBlanc - REALTY EXECUTIVES



Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 6/3/2020

Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

If you plan to add a deck to your home, begin by selecting quality pressure-treated or composite building material. If you build with pressure-treated wood, let the porch or deck set raw — without paint or stain — for at least six months to a year. The longer you let it set, the more of the chemical used to pressure treat the wood dries. As long as it is wet, it will cause paint and stain to peel. You may never get a good coat to stick if you paint or stain when the wood is still green.

If your home already has a deck or porch, the following tips will help you keep it looking great for years.

Composite Decks and Porches

It’s really easy to care for composite decks and porches. Always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for cleaning. If the exact details are not available to you, washing the surfaces with gentle soap and water and rinsing them well should keep the composite clean.

Wood Decks and Porches

Before painting or staining your wood decks and porches the first time, pressure wash them to get any grime off. Let them dry completely — usually a couple of days in sunny weather. Once you have paint or stain on the decks, they are easy to care for. Just wash them when you wash the exterior of your house.

If you notice areas where the stain or paint is wearing off, paint or stain those areas. Once the paint or stain dries, add a coat or two to the entire deck to maintain a uniform look.

Choosing the Proper Stain or Paint

When you choose a stain or paint, it's beneficial to select a brand that is well-known. Some less expensive brands won’t cover as well, so you’ll need several coats. You’ll end up spending a similar amount of money in the long run. Better stains and paints are also less likely to peel up after a couple of years.

As with the paint on your house, the paint and stain on the decks and porches need to be refreshed every 3 to 5 years, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations. Keep the paint color chip so you can use the same color the next time.

If you decide to change the color, you can stain or paint over the old color. Keep in mind that if you are going lighter than what is on the porch now, you’ll need additional coats, or you might want to remove the old paint or stain.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/27/2020

Photo by PublicDomainPictures via Pixabay

You’ve finally decided to sell your home and now you want the REALTOR® to show you the money! While that sounds like it can happen at the snap of a finger, there are a few things to consider. Are you selling for a profit or is your goal to make the biggest profit you can? If it’s the latter, here are a few things you can do:

  • Step onto the Stage

Staging your home can bring in big bucks. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 77% of REALTORS® agree that buyers who can visualize a staged property as their future home makes a difference.

  • Research Your Ideal Client

Who are you selling to? Are your buyers people who have children and want a nice neighborhood? Are they wanting a move-in ready home? Unless they are buying solely for the neighborhood, the condition of the home has a lot to do with their decision.

  • Create a Digital Showing

Let’s face it – social media and digital marketing are one of the best ways to connect with potential buyers. Adding a 3D element where they can “walk through” will not only create additional interest, but widens the number of people that may add your property to their list. An additional plus would be if you could upload the floor plans, any warranty and maintenance records to show how well you took care of the home.

  • Appeal to the Curb

If you think buyers aren’t looking at the exterior of the home, think again. They want to see the home in its best light – that means pressure cleaning or painting the exterior, washing the windows, repairing any cracks in the driveway and investing in landscaping.

  • Invest in Upgrades

Upgrades to the kitchen and bathrooms truly make your home stand out. New appliances, eat-in arrangements and lighting have a lasting effect. Have some water or something to drink in the refrigerator and make sure it’s clean. Buyers do peek. If you can afford new, inexpensive flooring that speaks to the environment, that will be a positive in your favor.

  • Have a Neutral Palette

Painting the walls in a neutral color lightens up the space and allows potential buyers to consider what their furniture would look like in the space

  • Stay Clutter-Free

The more you can get rid of so buyers can see an actual representation of how much space they will have the better. Your staging should demonstrate different ways the spaces can be utilized, giving them a wealth of ideas.

  • Other This & That

Installing ceiling fans, smart home tech and other simple touches can instantly put your home at the top of the list.

These are just a few ways your home can help you get top dollar for your home to move forward with a smile on your face. For more tips on getting your home ready to sell for top dollar, work with your REALTOR® for awesome results.




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Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/20/2020

Architecturally speaking, many home buyers have very definite ideas about their preferred house style.

Whether it stems from a sense of practicality or positive childhood memories, few house hunters are "on the fence" when it comes to the number of stories their ideal house should have.

Perhaps you're one of those people who grew up in a two-story house and wouldn't feel right sleeping down the hall from the kitchen and family room. Some people just prefer their sleeping quarters to be on the second floor!

Although it's a matter of personal preference, there are certain practical aspects to buying a ranch-style or traditional rambler house.

Less stair climbing: While this is an advantage that seniors typically value the most, stairs can be a burden anyone -- especially when you're lugging suitcases, boxes of books, or that heavy new futon you wanted to put in the guest room.

You can probably also recall countless evenings when exhaustion set it, and the last thing you felt like doing was climbing a long, winding staircase to get to your bedroom. (Okay, well maybe it's not "winding," but you get the idea!)

Then, of course, there are those times when you haven't been to the gym in a few months -- make that years -- and your home treadmill has turned into more of a clothes rack than an exercise machine! Although going up and down stairs a few times a day can help counteract the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, sometimes stairs can feel like they're more trouble than they're worth! That would definitely be the case if you have any physical conditions or health problems which make climbing stairs painful or medically unsafe. (Your physician can provide helpful advice on the latter.)

Home maintenance: If you hate getting up on tall ladders to paint your house or clean your rain gutters, owning a one-story home is a solution. Since home maintenance and repairs can often end up costing a bundle, it may make sense to consider doing your own exterior house painting. Although it's time consuming, messy, and sometimes a bit strenuous, painting your own house can potentially save you thousands of dollars in labor costs. Naturally, you'll still need to buy your own paint, brushes, rollers, and other supplies, but the amount of money you can save on labor is substantial.

Personal safety: If there's a fire or other emergency and you need to quickly evacuate your home in the middle of the night, a first-floor window can be safer and less scary than having to exit your house though a second-story window. While this type of dire situation is unlikely and will hopefully never happen to you, it's one of many factors to consider when comparing and contrasting ranch-style homes with other architectural styles.

If you do opt for a two-story (or three-story) architectural style, such as a colonial, craftsman, Tudor, Victorian, or farm house, it's especially important to have a fire escape ladder on hand, as well as a working knowledge of its proper use.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/13/2020

Image by Steve Heap from Shutterstock

If you love vacationing at the same place every year you may consider investing in a timeshare property. This can often help control vacation costs and planning time. However, owning a timeshare home may not be not the right choice for everyone. It is important to understand that a timeshare is not like other real estate because you do not own the property yourself. Carefully consider what that means before signing a timeshare contract.

Should You Invest in a Timeshare?

Timeshare properties are homes that are co-owned. Similar to condominiums, the units usually have several rooms that allow more than one family to share the space at the same time. Each owner has the right to use the home for scheduled periods each year. If you are considering a timeshare investment, here are the advantages and disadvantages associated with owning such property. 

Advantages

  • You have a vacation home every year: If you own a timeshare property, you save some vacation planning time each year. You won’t have to deal with booking hotel arrangements or spend time determining a destination.

  • Scheduled time: If you vacation during the same timeframe every year, this is a great option because you won’t have to worry about having good accommodations available to you when you want to use them.

  • Cost-efficient: When you calculate how much you spend on hotel bookings whenever you go on vacation, you may realize it is more cost-efficient to buy a timeshare property. 

Disadvantages

  • Your vacation is restricted: Owning a timeshare property makes it difficult for you to vacation whenever and wherever you’d like. If you like to visit new destinations or vary your vacation weeks each year, a timeshare may not be the best fit. 

  • Additional expense: If you opt to exchange the timing or destination of your timeshare stay, you may meet with considerable fees during the process. You may also be billed for routine maintenance, utilities, taxes, and other fees related to the timeshare complex itself. 

  • Difficult to sell: It is often difficult to sell a timeshare if you decide you do not want it anymore. You might end up selling at a loss as timeshare value tends to depreciate over time.

Before investing in a timeshare home, weigh your cons against your pros to determine if it is the right decision for you. You might find it just as cost-effective to purchase a vacation home in your favorite location that you own outright. In some cases, you could even rent it out to other vacationers when you’re not using it to help pay for the mortgage. Contact your real estate agent for professional advice on buying the right vacation home for your situation.





Posted by Claire LeBlanc on 5/6/2020

Living with kids can be challenging for so many reasons. One of the biggest concerns that most parents have within their home besides keeping their home safe is keeping it neat and clean. Although it can seem like an impossible task, you can keep your house clean while your kids are still living in the house. Read on for some tips to a clean and organized house. 


Get Rid Of What You Don’t Use


Too much stuff is one of the first problems in a messy home. You need to make a list of every space in your home. See which areas need improvement. Start in those spots to see how much more space you can make. Keep only the essentials. Everything else should be donated or tossed in the trash. If you have more space to get organized, the task of being neat will be even easier to achieve.


Everything Needs A Place


After you get rid of what you don’t use, clutter can still accumulate easily. If you don’t have a system in place to help your kids put things away, chaos will continue to ensue. How do you develop a sense or organization? Group things together. Electronics, batteries, and cords should go together. Different types of toys can have separate bins and containers. Keep blocks with other blocks and crayons with art supplies. Not only will things be more accessible to put away for your kids, but they’ll also be able to find item easier as well. Do you see that you still need a “junk drawer”? You can designate one spot in the house for miscellaneous things that either need a home or are in transition. Just don’t let this space be too big or get out of hand. 


Have A Clean-Up Time In Place


Sometimes, clutter becomes a problem because we don’t make cleaning up a priority. Add cleaning up clutter to your list of what needs to be done on a daily basis. Just as you clean your dirty dishes up from the sink, you should take the time to put items back in their place. Are you a procrastinator? Make sure you keep the importance of cleaning up fresh in your mind. Keeping clutter at bay is a habit that needs to be developed by both you and your kids. As a parent, you can make a game or competition out of clean up time. This contest can help to motivate your kids to learn your organizational systems and keep them in place. 


Keeping a neat house when you have kids isn’t as impossible as it seems when you attack the project from the right angle.   





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