Kathryn Larkin | St. Petersburg Real Estate, Madeira Beach Real Estate, Largo Real Estate


When you’re looking to sell your home for a great price, there are a few things that you can do to give the sale an edge. All of the ideas you’ll find below are inexpensive yet effective for sprucing your home up fast.


Hide And Brighten What You Can


Do you have an old, lumpy sofa, an old, unsightly lamp, or a scratch on the wall? You can easily cover these things up without making any major changes. Use a slip cover, some touch-up paint, or even new bedding to help brighten any room or furnishing. You could even consider adding new window treatments or additional lighting to assist in giving your home a refreshed look. As a rule of thumb: If it looks old and you can’t remember when you last replaced the item, you should probably replace it.    



Use Paint Strategically


With the right paint, you can accentuate or downplay the features of a room including fireplaces and windows. Portions of the room that would otherwise be lost can be highlighted with the right use of color. 


Make The Room Seem Larger


Do you have low ceilings or small rooms? You can make the room seem larger just by making use of vertical lines or using the higher spaces in the rooms of your home. Easily mount shelves on your walls in order to store things to give the room the illusion of having more space.


Deep Clean


Your home can look like a new place when you take the time to deep clean the area. Don’t miss out on any part of any room. Use a little elbow grease and pay attention to neglected areas like the pantry, laundry room, and refrigerator. Get rid of any odors in the home. Potential buyers will definitely notice if things don’t smell right upon entering the house. You can use natural cleaners made of baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice in order to freshen up everything from rugs to toilets. This stage of the makeover process may take you some time, but it’s definitely worth it. 


Don’t Forget The Little Touches


Adding in little things before an open house can also make a big difference. Put some fresh flowers on the table. Light some candles. Fluff the pillows. Take the time to remove unnecessary items from the counters and tables as well. The less cluttered the home looks, the better. Buyers like open spaces, but they also like to be able to see themselves in the space and you can help them to do just that.              

    



Most Americans dream of owning their own home. The size of that pictured house is often spacious. As the housing market gets tighter, the prices of homes go up. The bigger the home you wish to buy, the larger the price tag. Keep in mind that the bigger the house you buy is, the more everything else will cost. That means you have to look deep into your budget and far beyond the list price of a home to understand what you have to work with financially. Some things that a more prominent home might bring are:


Higher utility bills due to more space that you have to heat and cool

Increased property tax

Higher insurance premiums

More expensive repairs

More expensive renovations

Bigger yard to landscape


These are all additional costs that you should consider before you take the plunge to buy a larger home. The longer you live in the house, the more these expenses can add up. Many things like flooring, carpet, concrete, and roofing materials are priced by the square foot. While living large can be a great decision, the additional expenses can really add up.  


If You Have Kids, Reconsider


Raising children is expensive. While you may want your child to have a large room and a lot of amenities right inside their home, there are so many other things that kids need. Consider your child’s hobbies. How much of your budget do you devote to those? Do your kids hope to attend college? How much extra money in your budget do you have for vacations and other activities that you may want to do as a family? Buying a bigger house could mean that you have less money in your budget for these things. Understand all the ways that you need to stretch your money before you have your eyes set on a larger home. 


Consider The Rest Of Your Needs


A more massive home means a more substantial monthly mortgage payment. That leaves less for you to save for things like retirement, rainy day funds, and other financial goals. Don’t let the fact that you have your eyes set on a big house shadow the rest of your life and your needs. A large part of buying a home is planning ahead. It will be a smart decision all around for you and your family to buy a home that’s affordable.            


Buying a larger home fulfills a dream for many homebuyers, but don’t let that idea become a singular goal.       



Everyone likes to keep their home smelling fresh. At the very least, it assures us that when our guests come they have a pleasant aroma that welcomes them into the home. However, fragrances can be beneficial in other ways.

Some are calming, while others stimulating and invigorating. They can help you set the tone you’re aiming for, whether it’s a relaxing bath or sitting down to get some work done in your office.

At one time, you didn’t have many options when it came to giving your home a pleasant fragrance. You could burn candles, which can be dangerous if you have children or pets running around. Or you could use a plug-in air freshener, which are expensive and smell artificial.

Recently, however, a third option has been gaining popularity--essential oil diffusers.

Essential oils have a number of uses. They’re in the cologne and perfume we spray on our bodies, they’re in the room spray we use to freshen up our homes, and they’re an ingredient in a number of other cosmetic and therapeutic products.

Many are said to have medicinal value, such as a decongestant or a sleep aid. Others are used simply because they smell great.

In this article, we’re going to talk you through using an essential oil diffuser in your home and what oils you might want to start with.

Methods of oil diffusion

There are a number of ways you can spread the aroma of essential oils in your home. One of the quickest and easiest ways is to put a drop or two of essential oils on a tissue and simply wave it around in the room.

For a more far-reaching effect, you’ll need to find a longer lasting way of diffusing the oils. Many people choose steam. You can either purchase a steam oil diffuser or just put a few drops into boiling water.

Another option is to use a heat source. You can buy tea light to heat the oils or, if you want to avoid open flames, buy an electric heat diffuser.

Each method has its advantages and disadvantages, and if you’re new to essential oils, it might be a good idea to start small by simply buying a starter pack of oils, smelling them to see which you like, and putting a couple drops in a boiling pot of water or dabbing them on a tissue.

A note of caution: essential oils are strong. Getting them on your hands or clothing, especially if undiluted, can mean your hands or clothes smelling like that oil for several days. You should also avoid putting them near your eyes or mouth as many essential oils can be dangerous.

Which oils to use

Oils have a range of scents--floral, citrus, earthy, spicy, minty, and so on. Knowing which oil you want for a given scenario is a matter of preference and trial and error. However, there are several blends or “recipes” that people prefer.

Common pairings include:

  • Orange and peppermint

  • Lavender and lemon

  • Bergamot and patchouli

  • Basil and sage

  • Cypress and cedarwood

  • Lemongrass and eucalyptus


Hiring an interior designer is a great way to create a chic, stylish home that matches your families’ personality and unique needs. You won’t need to worry about shopping for new pieces to complete a look and worry that it will look out of place. Because don’t we all?

Decorating can be fun. But creating a cohesive look isn’t easy and it’s certainly not everyone’s talent. How many times have you brought a new piece of decor home only to realize there’ something about that just isn’t quite right?

Hiring an interior designer is a great way to skip past awkward trial and error growing pains in a room you love.

Here’s what you need to know about hiring an interior designer:

Know your budget. You will need not only need to plan for your designers time and expertise but also for the decor they have chosen for you. You’ll also want to know how they source their furniture selections. Aka are they choosing pricey one of a kind custom pieces? Know what your preferred designers pay structure is and if you’ll need to invest upfront or make payments throughout your time together.

What services are you expecting to receive? Not all designers work in the same way or offer the same services. And not everyone expects the same services either! Decide if you would like a consultation, design concepts drawn up or for them to manage the project from beginning to end. Think of it this way - how much time do you want to personally spend on this project?

Take time going over different designer’s portfolios to get a feel for their style. You should work with a designer whose style jives with your own. So with that said, you should have a good idea of your own style and that of your household. You might be fine with mid-century modern furniture, but maybe your partner can’t stand it.

Have a Pinterest board of your inspiration ready to share with your designer. Even if you don’t see a cohesive theme across your board, a designer will. Which is why you are hiring them! While it is possible to be all over the place, if you the pins you’ve chosen intuitively feel good together you are probably on to something!

Communicate openly about what current pieces in your home are important to you. What has to stay, no question? And what are you willing to part ways with? This is really important to know ahead of time. You don’t want to realize your favorite piece is missing from the blueprint while your designer is presenting it. Instead, be upfront about it and your designer can work the whole room around that item.


For a buyer who is interested in learning more about a residence, it may be beneficial to set up a house showing. In fact, there are many reasons why now may be a good time to schedule a home showing, such as:

1. You can determine if a home is right for you.

Many houses are available in cities and towns nationwide, and as such, differentiating a good home from a great one sometimes can be difficult. Fortunately, a home showing offers a worry-free opportunity to get an up-close look at a residence. And after a showing is complete, you can decide whether a house matches your expectations.

During a home showing, a seller's agent can respond to any of your house concerns and questions. This agent also can provide details about why a seller has listed his or her residence, as well as other information about a home that you may be unable to obtain elsewhere.

Of course, if you are satisfied with a home following a showing, you can submit an offer to purchase this residence. Or, if you find that a home fails to meet your expectations, you can continue your pursuit of your dream house.

2. You can compare and contrast similar houses.

A home showing provides a valuable learning opportunity, as it enables you to compare and contrast houses against one another. If you set up multiple home showings, you may be able to review a wide range of residences in a short period of time.

You can set up as many home showings as you want, too. Therefore, if you find you still have questions about a house after a showing, there is no need to stress. Simply schedule a follow-up showing, and you can take a second look at a residence at your convenience.

3. You can make an informed homebuying decision.

As a homebuyer, it is important to gain as much information about a house as possible. And if you believe a home may be your dream residence, there is no harm in setting up a showing. That way, you can view a residence in-person and make an informed decision about whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.

Pursuing a home may be challenging, regardless of whether you are interested in buying a home for the first time or have purchased residences in the past. If you collaborate with a real estate agent, you can receive comprehensive support as you search for your ideal house.

A real estate agent can help you schedule home showings and weigh the pros and cons of different residences. Plus, if you find a home you want to buy, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase this residence.

Want to accelerate your quest to acquire your ideal home? Schedule a showing today – you'll be glad you did. Because if you allocate time and resources to view a residence in-person, you may discover your dream home.




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