Jill Kelly - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Westwood



Posted by Jill Kelly on 11/21/2017

When spring arrives it brings everyone out to the backyard for games, cookouts, picnics, and a number of other fun, fair weather activities. It also brings yardwork.

With the busy schedules that most homeowners have, it can be difficult to find time to spend hours working in the yard each weekend. Depending on where you live and the size of your backyard, there are many options for making it a bit easier to take care of your lawn and garden.

In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to make caring for your backyard a lot simpler so that you can spend your time outside enjoying the weather rather than working up a sweat.

Lawncare

In most suburban and rural neighborhoods, lawncare seems like a competition. Everyone wants their grass to look as green as their neighbor’s. But keeping a meticulous lawn can be difficult if you have kids, pets, or just don’t have the time to spend manicuring and fertilizing your lawn. What’s more, lawncare can get expensive quickly and can go wrong just as quickly in the case of droughts and pests.

There are many ways you can simplify your lawn care. If you love having a lawn, but mowing is a pain, it can be easier to remove some obstacles from your yard. Bird baths and other decorations can be a nice accept, but sometimes they make mowing more difficult than it needs to be.

If you don’t want to deal with grass at all, or want a smaller area to mow, you have a few options.

You could make your yard more of a natural meadow by planting wildflowers and encouraging long grasses. Laying a brick path down the middle creates the air of a walkthrough garden where you can view the many florae that will be ever-changing in your yard.

If you like your yard to look neat and tidy, creating a patio and placing a few choice potted plants and trees on it will save you a lot of time pushing the lawnmower.

Choose the right plants

Many people plant bushes, trees, and flowers based solely on the fact that they like them. It makes more sense in the long run, though, to choose your plants based on their hardiness, and your ability to care for them.

Some plants are marketed as being impossible to kill. However, you should still read the care requirements to make sure they’ll work with your yard’s climate, light, and water conditions.

In warmer climates, cacti and succulents are a good choice and will likely fit the scenery. For colder climates, there are a number of conifers, shrubs, and bushes that will stay green throughout the winter, adding a bit of color to the dreary season.

A good way to make sure your yard will be low maintenance year-round is to use plants and trees that are native to your area. Since they’re in their natural habitat, they’ll likely require less work on your part.




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Posted by Jill Kelly on 11/14/2017

We all love to put off our household chores until the last minute. The secret to cleaning is to actually clean more often for less time. Just taking a few minutes out of each day can save your house form being a mess and save you hours of time scrubbing. Take a look at some of these cleaning tips that will become shortcuts for you to clean your home. Once you get into the habit, it will be much easy in the long term. 


Clean Up Spills Immediately


Waiting to clean up spills is simply creating a nightmare for yourself later in the week. Stains will be much tougher to remove the longer they sit there. Everywhere from kitchen countertops to the bathroom sink should be wiped down frequently, especially when something spills. Baking soda, vinegar and even simple dish soap are great tools to help lift various stains and return surfaces to like-new. 


Spot Clean


Without full on scrubbing everything down, from time to time you should spot clean areas of your home like refrigerator door handles, door knobs and cabinet doors. This way, when you go for a deeper cleaning, it will take less time.


Use Door Mats


This tip sounds oh so simple but can make a huge difference in how clean your home is. Getting a good doormat can help to clean up dirt and debris from the shoes of people who are entering your home. Keep a mat on both sides of the door at entryways, and this can help reduce the need for frequent vacuuming throughout the home. 


Start At The Entryway


A tidy entrance is so welcoming to guests. Aside from quick cleaning touch-ups, you can add a few things to the entryway to make it even more inviting. Make sure that the entry to your home is presentable. Add some plants to help improve the appeal of your home.  


Make Sure There’s Clear Paths Throughout The Home


Inside of the house, make sure that you have clear paths everywhere with nothing in the way. You don’t want a lot boxes, clothes, or furniture in the way of paths where people walk. Clutter can also pose a safety hazard, causing people to trip. 


Put Everything Away


Done right, everything in your home will have a place to go. If you don’t have enough storage, your quick clean-ups are a good time to recognize this, so you can set aside a time for more serious organizing. The more things that you have out, the more clutter your home will accumulate. Each day, remember to put things away. You’ll need to accessorize with practical things like shoe racks, baskets for keys and containers for utensils in the kitchen.




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Posted by Jill Kelly on 11/7/2017

When you have an extra bedroom, you should take advantage of it to the full extent. All of the extra space can actually be kind of overwhelming. If you have a plan in mind, your extra bedroom can be so much more than a “spare” room. Here’s some ideas to help you jumpstart your imagination on what to do with an extra bedroom in your home. The great thing about these suggestions is that these rooms can be used day or night for specific purposes. Spa This sounds extravagant to have an in-home spa, but really, it’s possible. If you often hire professionals to give you a massage or a facial, many will actually come to your home. Your extra bedroom can become your private spa room in an instant! Thinking Room The health benefits of meditation are numerous. Having a room that can be a sanctuary for clearing your head, meditating, or just simply making decisions is a great use of an extra bedroom. There will be no other room in your home as quiet and as peaceful! Keep your favorite comfortable chair in there and enjoy the silence and solitude for clear thinking. Reading Room Having a reading room in your home is a classic use of an extra bedroom. If one of your ideas of pleasure is to sit quietly and read, a reading room can be the perfect sanctuary for you. The beauty of a reading room is that the furnishings can be very simple. All you need is simple seating and adequate lighting for a great reading room. A Room For Morning Routines Whether your morning routine is a workout, or simply reading the news with a cup of coffee, having a room to start your day off right is the perfect use of an extra bedroom. Being able to get through your morning routine without any interruptions can help you to set the mood for a great day. You’ll have plenty of room for what you need, be it workout equipment, or a set of a table and chairs. A Toy and Games Room Even adults need some time to have fun. Whether you keep a bunch of board games in this room, install a poker table, or buy some classic arcade games the possibilities are endless when it comes to building a fun room. If you have kids, and don’t have the heart to make an “adults only” room, an extra bedroom can be put to great use if you need a place to store toys and other “kid” things. This can help keep your house a bit neater when the toys are contained. Music Room If there’s a musician or two in the family, a spare room can be put to good use for making music. All of the equipment and supplies can accumulate in the house. Now, there will be a room to keep all of it in. Make sure there’s adequate seating for guests and plenty of outlets available for the musicians to plug in speakers and amplifiers.




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Posted by Jill Kelly on 10/31/2017

If you live in one state, but are trying to buy a home in another state, you’ll face some obvious challenges. There’s certain steps that you can take to help you get through the home buying process in another state. Whether you’re buying a vacation home, or are in a complete transition, you’ll need to follow a few steps to make life easier for you. 


Know How Much Time You Have


First, you’ll need to ask yourself when you’re planning to move. If you have flexibility and are planning a trip to the new state before you need to move, that paints a much different picture than a more rushed move. Consider:


  • The time it will take to sell your current home
  • When the closing will be on the new home


Keep that timeline in mind.


You’ll definitely want to hire a realtor to handle everything for you on both ends when you’re in this situation. A Realtor’s knowledge and experience is definitely worth it to help you.


Get Your Finances In Order


You’ll need to apply for a loan on the home you’re buying in the new state. You should start by getting pre-approved for a mortgage in that state. You don’t want all of your important paperwork to be buried in the midst of packing and moving. Also, you’ll need to have that loan secured before you even head to the new state to close on the home. Everything should be in order. This situation may be more challenging for you than a typical home purchase. Since big purchases affect your credit score, you’ll need to hold off on buying a car, furniture, or any major appliances that you may need. 


Get As Much Information As You Can


As a buyer who is from out of state, you’ll need to do your homework. Maybe you have visited the state many times before. Perhaps you know nothing about it. The more you know ahead of time, the easier that your transition will be. You’ll need to find recommendations about which neighborhood to search in. You’ll also want to learn a bit more about the lifestyle the area provides for activities like dining, entertainment, and recreation. You can learn a lot in the internet, but talking to locals- even a local realtor- can help you to find the right spot to live in. 


Find The Right Realtors


You’ll need to find the right realtors in both your home state and the state that you’re moving to. The seller’s agent will assist you in getting your old home sold. From marketing the listing to home showings to sending you all of the paperwork that you’ll need to sign, a seller’s agent is very valuable to someone who needs to move out of one state and into another. 


The buyer’s agent can help you in your new state, communicating with you on new listings and advising you on the neighborhoods that you’ll be the most happy in. Hiring these two realtors may be one of the most important steps in your feat of moving across two different states.


With the resources that are available online, moving from state-to-state isn't as hard as it may seem. Do your research for a smooth transition. Happy moving!




Tags: Real Estate   Moving Tips  
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Posted by Jill Kelly on 10/24/2017

Let's face it – in today's fierce real estate market, home sellers need any competitive advantage that they can get. Lucky for you, real estate agents are available to ensure that you can maximize the value of your residence.

After you hire a real estate agent, the home selling may move quickly. In fact, the most common steps associated with the home selling process include:

1. Prepping Your House

As a home seller, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure that your residence looks great both inside and out.

Your real estate agent can help you prep your house before it is listed on the housing market. He or she may offer tips about how you can transform your home's ordinary interior into an exceptional one. Plus, your real estate agent can put you in touch with home cleaning companies, landscapers, painters and other home improvement professionals who can help you take your home's appearance to the next level.

2. Hosting Open Houses and Home Showings

Open houses and home showings represent essential parts of the home selling and homebuying cycles. For home sellers, these events enable you to showcase your residence to a large group of homebuyers quickly. Meanwhile, open houses and home showings enable homebuyers to browse a wide range of properties without delay.

Your real estate agent will keep you up to date about open houses and home showings. This real estate professional will always provide you with sufficient notice any time a homebuyer wants to check out your home as well.

Hosting open houses and home showings can be stressful, particularly for home sellers who have already committed substantial time and resources to improve their properties. Fortunately, your real estate agent will set up plenty of open houses and home showings to generate substantial interest in your property. He or she also will share homebuyers' feedback with you, ensuring that you can complete myriad home maintenance and upgrade projects as needed.

3. Responding to Home Offers

After your home reaches the real estate market, it may be only a matter of days before you receive your first offer.

Your real estate agent will inform you about any offers on your residence, and you likely will have 24 to 48 hours to determine whether to accept, decline or counter a homebuyer's proposal.

Although you only have a short amount of time to assess a homebuyer's offer, your real estate agent is happy to help you determine how to proceed. This real estate professional will enable you to establish realistic expectations for your home before you list your property. That way, you'll be able to see how your home stacks up against the competition and price it properly.

Furthermore, your real estate agent will negotiate with a homebuyer on your behalf. And if you don't feel comfortable with an offer on your home, your real estate agent will respond to a homebuyer's proposal accordingly.

There is no need to stress when you sell your home. If you hire an experienced real estate agent, you should have no trouble accelerating the home selling process and optimizing the value of your residence.




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