Michelle Gillespie - Keller Williams Realty



Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 8/9/2020

Photo by La Belle Galerie via Pixabay

When your home is on the market, you canít always anticipate when youíll get a call from your real estate agent that a buyer wants to see it. Trying to keep your home in perfect condition can add stress to an already complex time, but if you practice these tips, your sparkling bathroom is sure to win them over.

Daily Habits

Keep a cloth beside the sink so that you can wipe it out after each use. Then, before you leave the house, just grab the cloth and put it in the laundry. Another option is to keep a pack or canister of wet wipes handy. Just before you head out, wipe down the fixtures, drawer pulls, switch plates, and doorknobs. Donít forget the toilet lever. And keep the seat lid down.
If your shower has glass panels or doors, buy an inexpensive squeegee. Keep it in the shower and teach everyone to give the glass a once-over as before they step out of the stall. Doing so keeps water spots from forming on the glass. And speaking of glass, keep a microfiber cloth handy to buff the vanity mirror and keep the toothpaste spatter at bay.

Weekly Habits

Freshen the towels at least once or twice a week. Use a cleaner in the toilet and wipe down the outside with an antiseptic wipe. Wipe down the sides of the shower or tub while youíre in the shower to simplify the process. Damp-mop the floors too.

Monthly Habits

Launder the shower curtain and liner to keep mold away. While youíre at it throw the bathmat in too. Attach a microfiber cloth to a broom with a rubber band and catch all the dust on the ceiling, corners and light fixtures.

Unclutter

Take a weekend morning to remove all the extra stuff from your bathroom cabinets, drawers, and vanity top. Keep only the items that you use regularly. Store them in baskets or tubs that you can quickly slip under the sink or into the linen closet before homebuyers arrive. Keep a set of towels aside specifically for staging and whip them out when you know someone is on their way.
Add one of these routines into to your daily, weekly, and monthly habits and see your stress levels drop when you get that call from your agent. While youíre doing that, talk to your agent about other ways to stage your home without completely disrupting family life.




Tags: cleaning   bathroom   homeowner  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 8/2/2020

The more you know about the process of buying a house, the better prepared you'll be for doing it successfully.

How might you define "success" when it comes to purchasing a home?

There are a lot of standards that could be applied to successfully navigating the home buying process, but here are a few that immediately come to mind:

  • Finding the house of your dreams: While very few people find a home that is absolutely perfect in every way, it is possible to come close to achieving that ideal. Although a certain amount of flexibility goes a long way, knowing what you want and prioritizing important features are among the main prerequisites to getting what you want. As baseball legend Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else." Thanks to the variety of websites devoted to home ownership, home decorating, remodeling, and landscaping, it's easy to find pictures online that can help inspire your imagination and clarify exactly what the house of your dreams might look like.
  • Minimizing setbacks and frustrations: The process of house hunting is a journey that often involves bumpy roads, detours, and dead ends. One secret to getting through it successfully is to work with an experienced real estate agent who knows the ropes and can keep you on track. It also helps to approach house hunting with a sense of optimism, resourcefulness, and commitment. Although you probably have a lot of competing priorities in your life, finding a house that you and your family will be happy in for the next few years deserves a top spot on your list!
  • Avoiding unpleasant surprises: Knowing your credit score and understanding the impact it will have on getting loan approval and a favorable interest rate will help prepare you for the financial side of buying a house. The ability to get prequalified for a mortgage and come up with sufficient down payment will also set the stage for a successful home buying experience. On the plus side, a higher down payment can potentially result in a lower interest rate and not having to pay private mortgage insurance (A 20% down payment is necessary to avoid PMI.) Since many loan programs and lenders require at least a 3-5% down payment, that can be a stumbling block for first-time home buyers. To purchase a $200,000 home, for example, you'd need to come up with a cash outlay of between $6,000 to $10,000 -- not an easy feat for everyone!
If coming up with a sufficient down payment is an issue for you, your real estate agent or loan officer can work with you to brainstorm possible solutions and alternative strategies. For some first-time home buyers, the best plan is to postpone your house buying plans for a couple years until you can improve your credit score and set aside several thousand dollars for a down payment.





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 7/26/2020

Buying a home is an extensive process that comes with a bit of a learning curve. For first time buyers, this process involves making mistakes and learning from them.

While we can never be 100% sure of our home buying decisions, there is a way to increase your chances of making the best choices when it comes to buying and maintaining your first home.

In todayís post, weíre going to do just that. Weíll take a look at some of the biggest things that homeowners wish they knew before buying their first house.

1. Forgetting to research the neighborhood

Itís easy to become so enamored with your dream home that you barely look beyond its fence. However, the neighborhood your home is in can have a huge effect on your daily life. Having local parks, safe sidewalks to walk on, and road infrastructure that doesnít drive you crazy on your daily commute are all important aspects of choosing the right home.

2. Getting pressured into making a decision

Many times, a seller will want to portray their home as being highly sought after to encourage higher and more frequent offers. Similarly, you may find that your own family has time constraints and want to make a quick decision to buy a home.

Itís when weíre under pressure that we can make choices that we arenít happy with in the long run. So, in these situations, make sure you donít make any snap judgments on a home. If it seems like youíre being pressured into making a decision without enough time to consider all of the possibilities, thereís a good chance you should pass on this opportunity.

3. Forgetting that you might someday have to sell this home

Sometimes homes can be difficult to sell due to things like their location and surroundings. For instance, a home that is remote or one that is located in low-scoring school districts may not matter to you if you donít plan on having children. But, they likely will be important to a lot of your potential buyers when it comes time to sell the home.

This lesson also holds true for what you do with your home once you buy it. Making renovations or design choices that wonít appeal to the average buyer can make your home more difficult to sell and harder to get top dollar for.

4. Didnít consider all financing options

There are several steps and several options when it comes to financing a home. Not only are the several mortgage lenders to choose from, but there are also many different types of loans available.

While there may not be one ďrightĒ decision when it comes to financing your home, itís a good idea to do your homework and browse carefully all of the lenders and mortgage types.

Consider ways to increase your credit score or save for a higher down payment before buying if possible, so that you can secure the lowest interest rate possible.




Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 7/19/2020

Putting your house on the market is a lot like preparing to host a holiday party; you want to make the best possible impression on people without having to spend a small fortune in the process!

Assuming your home is not drastically outdated or in disrepair, there are a lot of simple things you can do to make it more appealing to visitors.

For a lot of reasons, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms of the house. The impression your kitchen makes on potential buyers can easily make or break your chances for a quick sale. Although everyone's looking for different features in a home, it will always be to your advantage to spend a little extra time sprucing up your kitchen.

While it may not be practical or affordable to give your kitchen a complete makeover, here are a few simple ideas for enhancing its overall appeal.

Lighting affects perception: As a home seller, one of your primary objectives is to create an environment that's comfortable, attractive, and relaxing. Lighting, both natural and artificial, can play a big role in how people perceive your home. If you're fortunate enough to have sunny weather on days when your house is being shown, it will be easier to present your kitchen and other rooms to their best advantage. By letting in a lot of natural sunlight, colors tend to be more vibrant and your home's mood will be a lot more positive. Turning on electrical lights can also help give your living space a more cheerful feeling.

Cleanliness is crucial: Although the "grunge factor" is something you want to avoid anywhere in your house, prospective buyers will pay special attention to the cleanliness of your kitchen and bathrooms. Thoroughly cleaning counter tops, floors, sinks, and appliances will go a long way toward making a positive impression. If you can use cleansers that have a mild, natural-smelling fragrance -- like citrus, for example -- then you won't risk turning people off with the overpowering smell of harsh chemicals or artificial scents.

Staging your kitchen: A few things you can do to make your kitchen look more inviting and memorable include adding touches like a vase of fresh flowers, a bowl of colorful fruit, and a green plant or two. Removing distracting clutter from counter tops, tables, and desks can also help give your kitchen a more organized, tidy, and spacious appearance.

If your refrigerator door is covered with outdated children's drawings, coupons, photographs, and other miscellaneous memorabilia, it might be worth your time to weed that out a little bit! Not only does it detract from the beauty of your kitchen, but it also makes it impossible to clean the door of your fridge. Another tip to keep in mind is that too many personal items on display make it more difficult for prospects to visualize living in your home -- which is the first step to winning them over as buyers.





Posted by Michelle Gillespie on 7/12/2020

Image by Dorothea Lucia Pietrek from Pixabay

Does your bathroom look vintage but not in a cool or trendy sort of way? If so, and you don’t have the resources or time to give your bathroom a complete remodel, you can make some minor changes to your bathroom to freshen it up.

For instance, you can plan a weekend DIY project to refinish your bathroom cabinets and give them an updated look. All you need is a few materials, paint and some elbow grease.

Materials you’ll need:

Fine grade sandpaper, water-resistant (durable) paint, primer, painters’ tape, small tarp or drop cloth, small paintbrush, small roller and a screwdriver. 

If you’re looking to replace your visible hardware (an easy task and gives it some modern flair!), you’ll also need some new knobs and/or pulls.

Once you’ve gathered your tools and materials together, you can get started.

Step 1: Remove the hardware and position painters’ tape

Unscrew all of the cabinet’s hardware so you can remove any drawers, along with the cabinet door(s). Put these aside and lay them flat on the tarp or drop cloth in preparation for painting. Next, use painters’ tape to cover any areas you don’t want to accidentally get paint on.

Tip: Place any screws and other pieces in a small baggie so they don’t get lost.

Step 2: Sand down all surfaces

Take the sandpaper and gently sand down the cabinet, door and drawer surfaces. Next, thoroughly wipe them down to remove any residual dust, grime or dirt.

Step 3: Prime the cabinet

Once the drawers are clean, you’re ready to prime your surface. Give it a good coat, you might need two, depending on the current stain or paint of your cabinet. Let the primer completely dry.

Step 4: Paint the cabinet

Take your roller and paint the larger surfaces of your cabinet, including the front of the door(s) and drawers. Use the small paintbrush to catch any details the roller can’t properly reach. If there are still some tight grooves or other areas left the paintbrush can’t adequately cover, try using a craft paintbrush to dab the paint onto these areas. Let all surfaces thoroughly dry. Apply a second coat, if necessary.

Keep in mind, if you go with an oil-based paint, which tends to last longer and is more durable, you’ll need extra time for the paint to dry, along with good ventilation. If not, you can go with a semi-gloss or satin paint that doesn’t have the same strong odor.

Step 5: Reattach door(s) & drawers

Reattach any hardware that was removed earlier and then re-screw the door(s) and drawers back onto the cabinet. If you really want a completely new look, go ahead and replace those knobs and/or pulls.

A new coat of paint can do wonders for any old bathroom, especially if a replacement isn’t in your near future. Try this easy makeover and see what a difference it really makes.







Tags