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Taking on a DIY Home Improvement Project? Read This First!

From painting the den to remodeling the bathroom, many an ambitious homeowner will be embarking on a DIY home improvement project in the coming months. In fact, according to the recently released Coinstar® Do It Yourself (DIY) Home Improvement Survey, 65 percent are tackling a home improvement project on their own in order to save money, and nearly three in five respondents believe it will increase the value of their home.

Projects homeowners plan to take on range from painting a room to a major remodel of a bathroom or kitchen. Regardless of the type and magnitude of the project, nearly nine out of 10 homeowners agree that they feel a sense of pride when completing a DIY activity, and three in four see their home as an extension of their personality. What’s more, nearly half said fulfillment in doing it themselves was the main motivating factor in initiating the project.

If you’re among the ranks taking on a project yourself, follow the example of the majority of survey respondents, 70 percent of whom will create a budget and use cash on hand to pay for projects, as opposed to the 30 percent who say they’ve left a project incomplete due to running out of money. According to the survey, 61 percent of respondents plan to spend $500 or more on a home-improvement project this year.

More than two-thirds of homeowners typically perform DIY projects with someone else in the household, like a family member or significant other. If you’re also teaming up with a partner, beware—65 percent of respondents say they got into a disagreement related to the project.

Maybe those disagreements arise over how to get the job done—more than one quarter of homeowners surveyed consider themselves unskilled or under-skilled when it comes to home improvement projects. Regardless of skill level, the majority of DIYers learn how to tackle a project by learning online through YouTube videos and using search engines to locate how-to answers. Nearly half (45 percent) report they teach themselves through trial and error, and owner’s manuals are still a viable tool with nearly 60 percent of homeowners saying they always read the manual.

Before you embark on your home improvement project, make sure you’ve budgeted correctly and you’re well prepared on the ins and outs of your project.

If you need more real estate information, feel free to contact me.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis, please contact us at info@pilmerrealestate.com or call our office at 630-897-3211.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.

Sell Faster in 2018: Design and Staging Tips

By Alethea M.

Selling your home can often be stressful as you live life in limbo. Once the house is listed, you want to receive a good offer as quickly as possible. Here are tips for staging and upgrading your home for a faster sale in 2018:

Start With the Basics
Buyers are going to be turned off if they see a leaking roof or furnace on its last leg. It’s not going to matter how impressive your kitchen is if your home has major issues. While new siding isn’t glamorous, the improvement can return nearly 92.8 percent of your investment, according to Remodeling magazine. Window and roof replacements also return a high investment of around 80 percent.

Cleaning Your Home
Getting every nook and cranny clean is the cheapest way to increase appeal. Potential buyers need to picture themselves living in your home. Dirt, grime and disrepair can distract them from the highlights of your home. Make sure your home is spotless for each showing, vacuuming floors and double-checking surfaces for streaks before leaving.

Hiring a professional to deep-clean and get into the crevices may not be a bad idea. You won’t want dirty dishes or laundry sitting around, so make sure they are either done or taken with you during the showing.

Photogenic homes are more likely to excite buyers and get them placing bids faster. Here are a few ways to make your home Instagram-worthy:

  1. Dramatic Color Accents: Purple is a big color for 2018. Update your home with trending accents. Lavenders are projected to be a popular decorating color and Pantone announced Ultra Violet as the 2018 Color of the Year. Using jewel tones in your floral arrangements, including mixed metal decor and choosing the right faux fur throw can help modernize your house to appeal to buyers.
  2. Light and Bright: If at all possible, brighten your spaces with natural lighting from windows, unique light fixtures and bright walls. Brighter interior spaces are easier to photograph.
  3. Moody Interiors: If natural light isn’t readily available, dark charcoals and navy colors can exaggerate the furniture and room features; however, buyers can be easily scared off if they feel like they need to repaint the walls. While moody can be a big payoff for the right house, it can be a devastating choice for the wrong house.
  4. Two-Tone Cabinets: Finishing upper and lower cabinets differently can create an interesting dynamic in the kitchen. A HomeAdvisor survey says the national average cost of refinishing cabinets is $2,600. Bleached wood lower cabinets can be contrasted with a vibrant paint color on the cabinets above.

All clutter has to go. If you have to rent a storage space offsite to house your items until you move, then do it. Clear clutter from your closets, cupboards and garage, as well—buyers are going to be looking at the storage spaces in your home. If you really can’t move the clutter to another site, box it up and put it in the garage or attic until moving day. You want everything looking move-in ready and showing off what your home has to offer.

Staging the Home
Set up every room to show off how it can be used by the new buyer. Even though a spare bedroom might feel larger if it’s empty, adding a bed and dresser that fit the space can make it more inviting to a potential buyer. Photographs, memorabilia and themed rooms, like Disney princess or a favorite sports team, should be swapped out for decor that keeps a personal touch without feeling exclusive.

Curb Appeal
When potential buyers arrive at the home, what kind of first impression is your home presenting? Curb appeal is typically a low-cost upgrade that can lead to faster sales. Make sure the exterior is clean by power washing the siding, driveway and walkways. Keep the lawn mowed, bushes trimmed and trees pruned back from the house. Keep the gardens free of weeds, mulched and edged. Spruce up the entrance with potted flowers or cute furniture that makes the space feel inviting and inspiring. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint and hang house numbers that are visible from the street.

Selling your home can be a very stressful process, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow these tips and up your chances of having solid offers come in quickly.

Alethea M. is a freelance writer from Indiana with a background in advertising and marketing. She spent years at non-profit companies working as a copywriter and graphic designer. She now spends her time as a wife, mother and writer.

For more real estate information, including a FREE Home Market Analysis, please contact us at info@pilmerrealestate.com or call our office at 630-897-3211.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2018. All rights reserved.