Articles Tagged "Home Staging"

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August
3

Hardscaping Tips

A functional and beautiful outdoor space can help make your summers more enjoyable, and when it comes to creating the perfect outdoor oasis, hardscaping has a big role to play. Our real estate agents always make it a point to invest in new outdoor elements that enhance the outdoor experience. New hardscaping not only helps to improve your home value, but it can also be aesthetically pleasing.

Below, we'll discuss the importance of hardscaping and how you can use it to make the most out of your yard this summer.

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July
27

Bookshelf Tips

Part of making your house a home is getting to customize it with your interests. Put your personality and hobbies on display when you design a built-in bookshelf.

Built-in bookshelves complement your home, and you can use them as a focal point instead of furniture. Additionally, built-in bookshelves are customizable, easy to organize and make the space look bigger. Our real estate agents put together this guide to help you add built-in bookshelves after buying our Raleigh homes for sale to customize them to your taste.

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July
14

In and around the Triangle area, there are several beautiful luxury listings available for sale. What exactly differentiates these properties from the standard market? Is it the square footage, the features, or the technology? Some would say it is all of the above. Ultimately, luxury buyers are not looking at the price tag in their search for their next dream home but the amazing amenities that come with the property. Here are the top 6 must-have features in luxury homes!

1. Indoor / Outdoor living

Indoor/outdoor living seamlessly extends your home's great room or dining quarters. This trend tends to keep cohesion in design from the interior to the exterior of your home. Typically indoor/ outdoor living has always been a primal commodity when searching for a new home. With the new normal consisting of being at your humble abode more these days, the amenity has become a necessity. What makes an outdoor living space luxurious is the ability to provide comfort through all seasons while also allotting multiple entertainment options. High-end features include retracting screened porches, outdoor kitchens, cabanas, and sometimes a type of water feature. This CBHPW luxury listing checks off each box on the list! With its large covered porch and a wood fireplace, the immaculate outdoor kitchen has a top-of-the-line grill station, jacuzzi, and extensive acreage for sporting events or games. One thing for sure is that you may yearn to host any occasion with this property as your next home. To view more of this listing, click here.  

2. Theatre Room 

Entertainment becomes the next level when a luxury property contains an in-home theater. The ability to bring the ultimate cinematic experience to your fingertips is a sought amenity many buyers search for when hunting for their next home. What makes an in-home theater top-notch is its ability to incorporate features similar to an actual movie theater. This includes a top-of-the-line av-system, projector, large screens, recessed lighting, and comfortable loungers. The goal of the theater room is to immerse yourself in what's on the screen, whether that be the newest megahit movie or the exciting rival sports game. The cinema room pictured above is from none other than one of our CBHPW luxury listings. This glorious in-home theater offers stadium seating, a high-tech projector, and even mimics the groovy movie theater carpet. To view more of this property, click here. 

3. Large Garages

The standard two-car garage does not cut it for luxury properties. Buyers are looking for substantial space when envisioning the housing of their precious automobiles. Typically, luxury properties have at least a 3-car garage! To any car buff, the garage is not just a space for storing your vehicle. This part of the property could be turned into a luxurious showroom, man cave, or workshop. This beautiful CBHPW luxury property comes with a three-car garage with gorgeous rustic wood garage doors. To view more of this property, click here.  

4. Intricate Ceiling Designs

Raised ceilings and other intricate ceiling styles are quite the fanbase for luxury homes. A room turns from basic to compelling when there is a ceiling feature that adds depth, sophistication, and style. In most luxury dwellings, at least one space must contain a styled ceiling. One of these rooms can be the living room, sitting room, primary bedrooms, and or dining rooms. What exactly are some styles of these ceilings? They are cathedral, tray, beamed, suspended, and coffered. One would love to have any of these exquisite designs in their home!  For example, in this CBHPW luxury listing above. The sitting room contains a beautiful coffered ceiling. The coffered ceiling consists of sunken panels accented by molding, creating a waffle-like appearance. What works well in this room is the brilliant addition of recessed lighting. For more on this property click here

5. Massive Walk-In Closets

Typically an owner of a luxury home tends to live a complete life of luxury. Meaning everything about them is high-end, like their fashion sense. Closets in a luxury home are an extension of the main room and need to boast space and means of organization. Closets these days are not just for hanging clothes. They can be an area to lounge in after using the spa bathroom or a place to put on that fashion show after shopping in the streets of London. For sure, luxury home buyers are looking for closets that encompass organization and can show off their beautiful wardrobe. In this CBHPW luxury home, the primary closet is genuinely massive. This closet incorporates different levels of custom built-in shelving and an island dresser to accommodate all buyers' attire needs. To view more of this property, click here.

6. Relaxing Spa baths

When buyers search for their next home, kitchens and bathrooms are the most focused rooms, which is why main bathrooms in luxury homes are genuinely upping the ante in their need to give that spa-like aura. Features include a jacuzzi bathtub fit for a king, a large walk-in shower that doubles as a steam room, neutral colors, beautiful stone or tile, and lots of space for minimal clutter. In this CBHPW luxury listing, this bathroom truly exuberates comfort and relaxation. The large window allows natural light to encase the room, making the white pop against the darker grays. The unity in neutral colors creates a calming sensation. One can relax in the free-standing tub or use the shower with multi-shower heads in this bathroom. To view more, click here

When buying or selling in the luxury market, we are sure you have seen one or more of these features within the properties. To view, all of Coldwell Banker Howard Perry and Walstons' luxury homes for sale, visit our website at https://www.hpwluxury.com













June
29

housewarming hosting

You've looked at countless Raleigh homes for sale, and you've finally found the one. Is it too early to start planning your housewarming party? Not at all! A housewarming party is a perfect opportunity to show off your new home to your friends, celebrate with those you care about most, and just relax in your own space. The following are some hosting tips that may come in handy as you plan and hold your housewarming.

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June
22

Indoor Plants

Want to purify the air while improving the appearance of your home? Add a few indoor plants to improve your indoor air quality, reduce your stress levels, and enhance your home's aesthetic.

Our real estate agents also know that indoor plants effectively make any space look more inviting. Here are a few plants that will boost your indoor air quality and help your home look its best.

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April
27

Garden Tips

Spring is here at last! Our real estate agents have been looking forward to another year of beautiful, thriving plants at our Raleigh and Durham homes for sale. In their time working on local properties, they have seen some incredible examples of gardening prowess and learned which plants grow best in this area of North Carolina. Here are some of the plants they are most excited to recommend to local gardeners this year. 

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April
18

Steam Cleaning Raleigh

Raleigh homes for sale are carefully staged for one important reason: to make them look like something a potential buyer could picture themselves living in. For most buyers, a dirty carpet is a turnoff, so you'll want to clean yours before staging and showing it to ensure your house gives a good first impression. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for getting your carpets into shape before your next showing.

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March
2

spring cleaning tips

Spring isn't here quite yet, but it's poking its head around the corner. If you're someone who looks forward to a good spring cleaning, then you probably can't wait to pull out your mops and buckets. Planning ahead for spring cleaning is a great way to stay busy and make sure you're ready to go the second the weather breaks. So, how do you plan for a successful spring cleaning? Our real estate agents have some helpful tips.

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February
2

Cleaning Schedule

Not everyone loves cleaning, but everyone will agree a clean home shows the best! One of the best ways to keep your house clean is to create a cleaning schedule. This is especially important if you'll be selling your house soon, as Raleigh homes for sale need to be showing-ready at all times. Here are a few tips for creating a cleaning schedule you can stick to.

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December
29

HPW Appliances

Many buyers looking into Raleigh homes for sale are attracted by updated appliances that make life more convenient. Upgrading your home's appliances before selling is a great way to increase your home's value and spark interest among potential buyers. Our real estate agents have reviewed the most exciting appliance upgrades for 2022 and listed them below.

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November
17

Staging Tips

Are you thinking of selling your home during the holiday season? While this is a busy time of year, it can actually be a great time to sell. If you stage your home appropriately for the holidays, the cozy, celebratory vibe can really appeal to potential buyers. Our real estate agents have plenty of tips for staging a home at the most wonderful time of the year.

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November
10

Recycling Tips

Home sustainability plays an important role in keeping our planet and our community healthy and clean. From recycling to energy efficiency, eco-friendly best practices can help reduce pollution, diminish dependence on raw materials, and ultimately helps prevent garbage from filling up landfills.

With National Recycling Day coming up on November 15, our real estate agents thought we'd take a moment to reflect on the importance of green living. Here are some everyday sustainability tips to incorporate into your home and life.

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October
13

Household Items

If you're preparing to add your home to the list of Raleigh homes for sale, it's essential to replace worn-out items. Worn-out items give the appearance that your home isn't properly maintained, and in some cases, can harbor germs and make it more cumbersome to maintain a clean living space. Here are some guidelines for replacing these common household items. 

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June
9

Raleigh Patio

What's so hard about buying patio furniture? Why not just go online or to a store and pick something pretty and buy it? You can do that, but you may not be happy with how that plays out in the patio area of the dream home you chose among homes for sale in the Triangle. A little planning will help you make the most of your outdoor living space. If you're not sure what questions to ask about a patio furniture purchase, follow the guidelines our real estate agents have put together. 

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May
19

Interior Design Mistakes

When you find furniture, artwork, or a decor scheme that you love, it's natural to want to incorporate it into your own home. However, our real estate agents know that some stylistic components aren't a good fit for every home; they may make the room appear small, cluttered, or unattractive. Your space will then be unappealing to you and potential buyers. Here are some common interior design mistakes you might be making and some simple solutions for fixing them. 

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April
14

Paint Color Tips

Have you ever noticed how some rooms entice you into settling back and relaxing, and others make you feel energetic and ready for fun? Understanding the effects of your choice of colors will help you send the correct message to potential buyers. Our real estate agents can tell you that painting your home will probably bring the greatest return on investment of any upgrades you make when selling your home. Keep in mind the psychological effects of these colors before starting to paint. 

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March
31

Raleigh Home Theater

Whether you enjoy binge-watching your favorite shows or like to host at-home movie nights, a home theater system is an excellent addition to your home. Our real estate agents find that a home theater system is also appealing to potential homebuyers and helps define your home's unused spaces. Here are a few ways you can take your home theater to the next level.

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December
2

Indoor Plants Raleigh

Indoor plants are a good way to liven up your living space, but taking care of them can be tricky in the wintertime. Changing temperatures, humidity, and exposure to sunlight all play a role in your plant's overall health. If you recently bought some new indoor plants or are simply bringing your outdoor plants inside to escape the cold, our real estate agents have some recommendations that can help you keep them healthy and vibrant this winter:

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October
29

Fall Landscaping in Raleigh

Autumn is here, and Mother Nature is ready to put on a show with colorful leaves, crisp cool nights, and the bounty of the harvest. The vibrant fall season is the perfect time to make your home stand out and prepare for what lies ahead. Our REALTORS® know that a home with curb appeal is much more attractive to buyers, so it's important for those with Raleigh homes for sale to give their landscaping some extra love. These tips and fabulous fall landscaping ideas can help you make the most out of your outdoor spaces this autumn.

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September
9

Home Inspection Tips

You've prepared your home for the market, attracted a buyer, received an offer, the finish line is in sight... but a home inspection still stands between you and closing the deal. Handling the home inspection process is easier when you know exactly what to expect, how to prepare, and how the results of the home inspection can impact your transaction. Our real estate agents are here to help you prepare with our guide for what to expect from your home inspection.

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September
2

Spare Bedroom Ideas

A spare bedroom can come in handy for overnight guests, but if this is a rare occurrence in your home, the space is often better utilized for everyday use. The extra room can be transformed in many different ways to suit your family's needs.

Our real estate agents suggest the following 7 ways to put a spare bedroom to use and to make it your favorite space in your home:

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August
12

Interior Design TrendsOne of the best parts of moving into a new place is adding the touches that make it a home. Homebuyers look at houses imagining that the south-facing window will be perfect for their favorite houseplants and trying to decide which cozy spot is the right one for a pair of armchairs. The process of selling your home requires that you leave room in buyers' imaginations for their aspirations, and there are some interior design trends that can crowd other ideas out. Our estate agents love seeing the personality a home can show, but we also love seeing a home ready for its next act. When getting your home ready to list, here are some interior design trends you should consider avoiding. 

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June
24

Garden Maintenance Tips

Summer is the most difficult time of the year on plants. Our gardens take the brunt of the harsh sunlight and temperatures. To keep your garden looking healthy and beautiful all season long, here are summer garden maintenance tips our real estate agents recommend.

  1. Water Properly
    Watering is undoubtedly the most important aspect of summer garden maintenance, but how you go about it makes a big difference. There are many pathogens in the air and soil that need water to reproduce, grow, and move. So, be sure to apply water directly to the ground using drip irrigation or soaker hoses to limit moisture on a plant's foliage. Water sitting on the leaves can lead to mold formation and disease infestation.

    When giving your plants a drink, you want to make sure that the water goes down to the deep roots. 

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May
27

Cleaning Your Washing Machine

Spring is traditionally the time when we do a thorough cleaning of our homes, undertaking tasks that we don't normally include in our cleaning regimen -- such as cleaning the washing machine.

Why does the washing machine need cleaning? After all, it's continuously washing itself with soap and sometimes hot water. Isn't it clean enough? Not really.

Soap leaves scum. Detergent residue can build up. There are also crevices in the washing machine's interior where dampness prevails, and where mold and dirt can take hold. Though you regularly wipe down the washing machine's exterior, and you often give the inner tub a wipe with a sponge, your machine may need a more thorough cleaning.

Front or top load, your washing machine could use a thorough cleaning at least once every year. It wouldn't hurt to clean it more often. 

  1. Clean Filters and Dispensers
    Depending on the type of washer you have, look at your manual to locate filters and dispensers. If the washer has them, remove them and soak them in a solution of vinegar or bleach and water while you're cleaning the drum. If you have dispensers that aren't removable, clean them with a sponge dipped in a cleaning solution.

  2. Clean the Gasket
    Mold and mildew can grow behind your front-loading washer's gasket. Clean under the gasket, using hot soapy water and a rag. You may even find one of those socks that went inexplicably missing last time you washed. Among other locations (under the agitator or wash plate, or in the washer's filter), socks are sometimes found under the gasket. 

  3. Wash the Drum 
    Clean a top-loading washer with 4 cups of vinegar and 1 cup baking soda; for a front loader, use 2 cups of vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda, or some kind of washer cleaner tablets.

    To thoroughly clean a top loader, fill it with hot water and add a cup of bleach. Let it sit for an hour, then run a long cleaning cycle. Then run another cycle with vinegar, followed by another hot water cycle to clean it out. Remember the next time you are ready to wash clothes to wash whites first, just in case there are traces of bleach in the machine.

    For top loaders, set the control to hot and on the large setting. Once the drum is full, add vinegar and baking soda and turn the washer on full cycle. For a front loader, put vinegar in the dispenser and baking soda in the drum. Set controls at highest heat and largest load and turn it on for the whole cycle.

    Once the cycle is over, wipe out the drum with a clean cloth.

  4. Leave the Door Open 
    After cleaning the washer, leave the door open so the machine can air out and dry. Always leave the door open once you've completed a wash cycle, to air out the washer.

If you're anticipating putting your home on the market, a substantial spring cleaning is one way to ensure it stands out among other Raleigh homes for sale. Looking for more tips from our real estate agents to get your Raleigh home ready to show? Contact us today.

May
20

DIY Fire Pit

Is it summer yet? Maybe not quite, but it's finally starting to feel like it, and our real estate agents are more than ready. The warmer weather has us thinking about sitting outside at night, looking up at the stars while a crackling campfire blazes. 

After all, summer is campfire season, and these DIY backyard fire pit ideas will ensure that you're ready to take advantage of those warm summer nights! Summer will be here before you know it, so why not go ahead and get started today?

Buy or DIY

A lot of homeowners debate between building their own fire pit and buying one. Sure, you could pick one up at your local Walmart or Home Depot, but there are a lot of advantages to going the DIY route:

  • The design options are endless. The types of fire pit you can buy at a store are fairly limited. When you build a DIY fire pit, you can choose among countless styles and building materials. 
  • You can save money. Sure, it's possible to sink a lot of cash into building an elaborate outdoor fire area, but a basic DIY fire pit can cost less than a store-bought model. 
  • It's fun! There's nothing quite like the satisfaction you get from building something yourself! 

DIY Fire Pit Ideas

You have endless options when you build a DIY fire pit. The blank slate your backyard offers can be intimidating, but remember that there's no such thing as a "bad" fire pit design, as long as it's safe and functional! Make sure to do the following:

  • Choose building materials. You can use anything from natural stones to man-made materials like bricks, concrete pavers, and blocks. Kiln-fired bricks will withstand heat better and last longer. 
  • Integrate your landscaping. Take your surroundings into account so that your fire pit feels like an integral part of your landscaping. A stone "patio" surrounding the fire pit can help tie the whole yard together. 
  • Avoid standing water. Water can accumulate inside your fire pit if it's in a low-lying site. Lining the bottom with sand or gravel can help. 
  • Make it functional. Want to cook over your fire pit in addition to enjoying a crackling campfire? Include a cooking grate in the design. 

A Note on Fire Pit Safety

Once you've dreamed up the backyard fire pit you've always wanted, it's time to start building! And when you're done, you can gather your friends for a fun summertime hangout. But before you do any of that, keep a few safety tips in mind: 

  • Build your fire pit on a level site. This is especially important if your fire pit is completely above-ground.
  • Make sure the site you've chosen is at least 20 feet from your house, and at least 10 feet from trees, plants, fences, and other structures. 
  • Don't operate a fire pit under any overhanging branches or trees. 
  • Only burn firewood that's been seasoned at least six months. Avoid burning composite wood and other construction materials. 
  • Have a bucket or garden hose handy while burning.
  • Use a screen to keep sparks from escaping the fire pit, or surround it with a non-combustible ground covering like sand or gravel. 

Contact us today for more ideas. Our team has helped countless families find beautiful Raleigh homes for sale, and we're committed to helping you live life to the fullest in the Triangle this summer!

June
9

Home Improvement Apps

Tackling DIY home improvement projects is a great way to pass the time at home and make your house a more pleasant place to call your own. And you don't need to be a construction expert to improve your home! Our real estate agents are happy to report that there are a ton of apps available to help with your home improvement projects, whether you're looking for guides, inspiration, or a community of like-minded DIY enthusiasts. Get a leg up on your next project, with our guide to the best home improvement apps for your devices.

  1. Pinterest
    Whether you're looking for inspiration for your projects, dreaming about Raleigh homes for sale, or seeking helpful tips from DIY experts, there's no doubt that Pinterest is an excellent resource. The Pinterest app makes it easy to browse all of the content on this popular social channel, and even share progress on your projects to help inspire others. Search for specific home improvement projects, or browse away until you find a project that inspires.

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May
13

Bathroom Remodel Raleigh

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, then the bathroom is the sanctuary. The master bathroom, guest bathroom, and even the downstairs half-bath should all feel comfortable and clean. Our REALTORS® know that a little renovating in these important spaces can go a long way. Here are six bathroom remodeling ideas that will inspire you to refresh the room where your family and guests freshen up.

  1. Bathe Yourself in Beauty
    Aside from larger master bathrooms that may feature a tub and a shower, most bathrooms contain one or the other. A great way to refresh this space is to swap out a tub for a shower or vice versa. You can remove your tub to create a walk-in shower with dual showerheads or a waterfall shower head. Alternatively, you could scrub the shower from the plans and instead install a lovely stand-alone tub for maximum relaxation.

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April
15

Raleigh Gardening

Scientific studies show that gardening burns calories lowers blood pressure, relieves stress, and elevates your mood. Our real estate agents love to unwind working on their gardens. Plus, it's a great way to enjoy the North Carolina sunshine while practicing social distancing.

Starting a garden of your own is super easy. Use these five tips to start a thriving vegetable garden in your own Raleigh backyard.

  1. Decide on a Location
    First, look for a spot where the garden will receive at least eight hours of daily sunlight. Plants also need plenty of moisture, so make sure the garden will be close to a ready source of water, such as a faucet or hose. Stick with areas away from trees, shrubs, and other large growth that may steal valuable resources from the plants.

  2. Select a Garden Type
    Planting seeds directly in the ground isn't the only way to create a garden. Depending on the type of soil and other factors, that method may not even be the best way. Container gardens and raised beds are two options that allow you to control the type of soil used. They're also good choices if you're dealing with limited space.

    According to The Old Farmer's Almanac, the biggest mistake made by beginning gardeners is being overenthusiastic. It's better to start small and expand later rather than bite off more than you can chew (no pun intended).

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January
29

Improve Your Credit Score

When you're looking to buy a home, your credit score has a significant effect on whether you're able to get a mortgage loan. And if you're able to obtain a loan, your score helps determine the interest rate you'll pay.

Your three-digit score represents your credit history and helps lenders determine whether you're likely to be able to pay back your mortgage loan. The higher your score, the better. Lenders generally like to see a score of at least 660 for a mortgage loan, and a score of 740 or higher will usually help you get the best interest rates for a home mortgage loan.

Our real estate agents suggest the following ways to improve your credit score before buying a home:

  1. Check Your Credit Score
    Check your credit history and score online through each of the three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. This lets you see whether any incorrect information on file is affecting your credit score, and if so, you can follow each credit bureau's process for having them corrected. You'll also find out whether your credit score is high enough to let you get a mortgage at a low-interest rate.

  2. Pay Your Bills on Time
    Paying every bill on time will raise your credit score over time. This helps demonstrate your creditworthiness to potential lenders.

  3. Reduce Debt 
    Your credit utilization, which is the amount of debt you have compared to your available credit, should be low. Work to lower your balances on credit cards, and don't open any new credit cards or finance a car when you're about to look for a home.

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January
22

Smart Home Features

For many buyers, smart home features are not just the wave of the future. They are a very real priority for the present. Popular tech solutions are transforming homes, providing homeowners with better security, easier access to entertainment, and more convenience than ever before. But not every smart home feature will have buyers swooning, so it's important to direct your efforts in all the right places. Our real estate agents are here to help, with our guide to the smart home features that buyers are looking for in 2020.

  • Smart Security Is the Perfect Place to Start
    If you want to pick one smart home feature that will help your property stand out from other Raleigh homes for sale, then security is a great place to start. Smart security systems provide an unparalleled level of peace of mind for homeowners, making it easier to monitor your home even when you're away. Video doorbells have become a popular solution in many homes, while smart security cameras are perfect for keeping an eye on a vacation home. Wireless security systems make it easy to bundle a variety of security features into one convenient package.

  • Going Green
    Going green is a priority for so many shoppers, and smart home features make green living easier than ever. Perhaps the single most popular smart home technology is the smart thermostat, which allows you to program the temperature in your home no matter where you are and ensure that your home is always comfortable when you return. Adjust the temperature while you're on the road, or set it to be at just the right level when you get home from work. Many smart appliances and lighting systems can also offer significant energy savings.

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December
26

Resolutions for Your Home

New Year's is the perfect time to make home-related resolutions and improvements. This is true whether you're planning to stay in your home or would like to move into one of the Raleigh homes for sale. Either way, you'll be improving the appearance of your home and making it more comfortable to live in.

Our REALTORS® suggest making the following improvements to your home in the upcoming year:

  1. Install a programmable thermostat
    Installing a programmable thermostat can help you save between 5% and 15% on your monthly heating and cooling costs throughout the winter and summer. It allows you to program a heating and cooling cycle that fits your lifestyle, so you can set it and forget it. For example, you can set the heat to turn down after you go to work and set it to heat up again shortly before you return. And if you're going out of town or need to make another change, you can update its programming accordingly.

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November
27

Benefits of Living Room Staging

In 2018, the average property was on the market for approximately 68 days. Back in 2010, this number was a whopping 140 days. Though the exact length of time a property remains for sale varies based on the current housing market and existing financial climate, one thing you can do to help your property sell as quickly as possible is stage your living room. 

On average, homes with staging sell 73 percent faster than their unstaged counterparts. Plus, the sooner you sell your current home, the sooner you can start browsing other Raleigh homes for sale

Home staging is the act of setting up a room or space so that it appeals to potential buyers. Staging helps buyers envision how they will utilize a room in a potential home; it also creates a comforting, inviting mood that helps enables buyers to see themselves in a new home. Check out a couple of ways that living room staging can help you make a good impression and sell your house.

Home Staging Allows Your Home to Appeal to More Buyers

Some home sellers decide to leave their living rooms as is when selling their homes. Though there's nothing inherently wrong with your existing living room set-up or decor, staging allows you to appeal to a large number of buyers. 

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January
6

Cold Weather Home Projects

With forecasted temperatures below freezing in the days ahead, it will be the perfect time to stay inside and knock out some easy-to-execute home projects. Consider these cold days your chance to get ahead of your spring sale staging plans and get to work on overlooked tasks around the house.

 

Battle the baseboards

Have your baseboards been collecting dust and dirt? It's time to tackle them. Use your vacuum to suck away loose dust and dirt in the baseboard grooves. Then bring out a sponge and soapy water to wipe away the remaining residue. A bit of elbow grease followed by a clean water rinse should leave your baseboards gleaming once more.

Raid the refrigerator and pantry

It's time to toss out expired condiments, too-old leftovers and stale foods that are taking up space in your fridge and pantry. Go shelf-by-shelf and drawer-by-drawer to toss out outdated items that are taking up space. Wipe down shelves with soapy water to remove sticky or smelly spills.

Clean the oven and microwave

Chances are your holiday cooking left your oven and microwave in need of a deep clean. Use your oven's self-cleaning option (remember to remove your baking racks) if your kitchen is well ventilated or make a paste out of baking soda and water that you can scrub on, leave for up to an hour, and then rinse off. While you wait for your oven to clean or the baking soda paste to set, you can work on your microwave.

Change air filters

When was the last time you replaced your air filters? It's time. Clean air filters will help your HVAC system run more efficiently and ensure that dust, pollen, and other contaminants don't recirculate back into your home.

Dust light fixtures and fans

Turn your attention to your light fixtures and fans. Are they donned in unwanted cobwebs and dust? Get out your extendable duster or vacuum arm extension and get to work. A microfiber cloth or fuzzy duster head will capture and contain the dirt and dust that has collected on fan blades, fixture arms and wiring.

Say goodbye to spider webs

Grab a clean broom, long-armed duster, or vacuum arm extension and go room-to-room checking corners, window crevices, and ceilings for cobwebs. If you have a textured ceiling that collects spider webs or dust bunnies, a feather duster is an ideal tool to use to avoid scraping off any speckles as you clean.

Sanitize switch plates and doorknobs

Has your family been fighting the cold-weather crud? Get out the Lysol or your preferred antibacterial cleaning spray and start sanitizing switch plates and doorknobs. Germs and grime won't stand a chance in your newly disinfected home.

December
21

With Christmas and New Year's just around the corner, the last thing you may be thinking about is your upcoming spring home sale. And, yet, now is the time to keep those real estate plans top of mind.

Yes, the holiday season will be filled with hustle and bustle and people and presents, but it also offers the time to begin the home sale-prepping process. It really is the ideal time to make your home merry and bright, sellers.

Here's how to get ahead of the home-selling game during your winter break.

The Three "C's"

Clear Out Clutter

No, we aren't talking about candy canes, Claus, and cookies—it's all about clutter, cleanliness and curb appeal when prepping your home for buyers.

Clear Out Clutter

One of the biggest turnoffs to home buyers is a house filled with clutter. Get rid of it now.

Start sorting through closets and drawers to seek out the stuff you no longer want or need. Make two piles—take and toss—and get to work sorting the odds and ends you've collected throughout the years.  

Hone down your holiday décor as you take down your tree and start putting away garland and bows. Chances are you'll find boxes of bobbles and holiday trinkets you no longer display that can be donated.

Tackle your kids' toy pile. Make space for the presents that Santa will bring by donating some of the toys your children have outgrown. You'll appreciate the effort you put into clearing out the toy box when it's time to pack for the move to your next home.

Purge your attic, storage space, and garage. If you find boxes you never opened from your last move, you certainly don't need to take them to your new home. Give the items away or donate them to your local thrift store.

Less clutter will make your rooms look larger and give your home a more spacious feel.

Clean Up

Forget about waiting until spring to clean, do it this winter.

Home buyers will want to tour a home that sparkles and shines, and no, we aren't referring to the glitter that fell off your holiday décor.

Try to look at your home like an interested buyer would. Give special attention to your kitchen and bathrooms. If you would be disappointed to find dust-lined baseboards, moldy grout, and sticky, spotted cabinets, you can assume a prospective buyer would be too.

Have carpeted flooring? Consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner to remove old stains and pet scents to refresh your fibers. 

Wipe down mirrors and windows to let the light shine in and around your home.

Check out walls and doors to see what scuffs can be easily removed with soap and water and what may need to be repainted.

Cleaning now will give you a leg up on the home staging you'll do before you list your home to sell.

Consider Curb Appeal

You may not want to spend a lot of time outside now that the cold weather has set in, but you can still take a look at your home's curb appeal and make plans.

How do your gutters look? Are they lined with leaves and debris? It's probably time to have them cleared and cleaned.

Are your driveway and sidewalks mildewed and stained? Perhaps you should have them pressure washed on a warmer winter day.

What about your trees and plants? Do you need to have any dead limbs removed? Should you replace any diseased bushes or shrubs?

Has your siding faded over the past few years? Do your shutters and front door need a new coat of paint? Ask family and friends to recommend a few painters.

Think about your home's exterior and your landscaping now to determine what you will want to fix before a buyer pulls up to your curb—first impressions always matter, you know.

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