Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Quick Fixes to sell your home

Home buyers lean towards well-cared for homes, period. 
If you're selling your home this year (and you should because inventory is low throughout Philadelphia!), here are 4 quick and affordable tasks you should do to make your home standout among your competition. 

Clean- It's Spring anyways so get a good deep clean or spend $150-$300 and hire a cleaner to come and really get your home to sparkle. 
Start by purging and putting away unnecessary items. Buyers notice if a home is packed with clutter. The next step is a thorough cleaning. Plan to take a day to scrub countertops and appliances, vacuum and wash floors, dust, clean windows, and scrub bathrooms. Invest in deeper cleaning such as shampooing your rugs, washing curtains, or scrubbing hidden areas like closets if needed. Although you may not think that a messy house will matter to buyers, creating an environment that’s clean and clutter-free will send an important message: that you take pride in your home and it has been well cared-for while you’ve lived there.

Paint Base Boards and Doors
A quick and effective way to refresh is by painting baseboards and doors. Choosing a crisp white paint color will help brighten up and modernize your home. While the process of painting may sound tedious, the results are worth it. 

Replace Cabinet Knobs
While shopping for new hardware, look for a timeless, classic style. Avoid trendy or busy knobs that could turn off certain buyers. This job can be done in a matter of hours and will leave your kitchen looking fresh and new. Remember: kitchens and bathrooms are huge selling points for potential buyers. 

Trim bushes and trees
Don't underestimate the importance of a well maintained lawn. Curb appeal is so important. Potential buyers will drive by your home and will judge the inside by your outside maintenance. 
Trim bushes away from the home and make sure they don't block windows. Get rid of any dead leaves and branches.
Plant a few Spring flowers or place in a container garden on your porch or front steps. 

Weather is warming up so don't hesitate- get your home ready today!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dreaming of Spring

I know I'm not the only one day dreaming of warmer and brighter days! Especially when there is snow on the ground here in Philly at the end of March!  One of the favorite things my husband and I do in the Spring and Summer is have outdoor picnics. I can't wait for our first one this year (as newlyweds too!).

In the 2014 Residential Landscape Architects Trends survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) they surveyed 180 landscape architects asking them to rate the expected popularity for 2014 of a variety of outdoor elements. The most popular outdoor features are: gardens and landscapes (94.2%); outdoor living spaces, such as kitchen and entertainment areas (92.0%); and recreation areas (75.8%). 

I know first hand, both working on the buying and selling side that people love outdoor living spaces. Landscapes add value and the more stylish and eco-friendly, the better! 

Top outdoor design elements
  1. Gardens and landscaped spaces
  2. Outdoor living spaces (kitchens, entertainment spaces)
  3. Outdoor recreation amenities (pools, spas, tennis courts)
  4. Sustainable design practices
Top outdoor living features
  1. Lighting
  2. Seating/dining areas
  3. Fire pits/fireplaces
  4. Grills

A local landscape designer, David Burnett with Keystone Gardens in Wayne, PA (www.keystonegardens.comprovides some additional great Spring Garden Tips!

Tip #1: Landscape Lighting

Exterior lighting is as important as the interior lighting in your home and is often overlooked when homeowners consider their landscape. By adding a few outdoor pathway lights and a couple of accent lights to highlight plants within your garden, you  can create charm and character for your home when your guests arrive during the evening hours. Important Note: Less is more when it comes to lighting and although solar lighting is hassle free, it doesn’t provide sufficient light to create an impact.

Tip #2: Outdoor Planters

It can sometimes be difficult to create colorful spaces within the landscape due to deer, rabbit, shade or water issues! By adding a few colorful containers around a patio or directly within a garden, you can create an instant splash of color with minimal effort.

Consider the following tips for container gardening:

Tip 1: Choose a brightly colored container and make sure it is large enough to make an impact within your space. A bright yellow, blue or red container are all great choices for your space. Make sure your container has drainage holes to avoid killing your plants. Plants hate “wet feet” and will rot otherwise.
Tip 2: Don’t just choose annual flowers to fill your container. Shrubs and even perennials are great choices to create a lush and full looking container for your outdoor space. Texture and height is just as important as colorful flowers within your containers.
Tip 3: Use fresh potting soil in your container every year and make sure you compact it properly without leaving any air pockets within your container. Air pockets within the soil will make the roots of your plants dry out quickly.
Tip 4: Use Soil Moist. Soil most is a product that you can get at your local garden center. Soil moist is a product that operates the same way as a baby’s diaper. The white Soil Moist crystals absorb moisture and lock it into the soil for when the plant needs it. Soil Moist makes it easier to go away for a weekend without having to worry about your planter dying out when you return.

Tip #3: Spring Cleaning

Just like you would clean out your closet to get rid of clothes you no longer wear or things that no longer fit, it is often a good idea to approach your gardens the same way. Take the time to meander your garden spaces and ask yourself the following questions:

1.       Does this plant look healthy anymore?
2.       Has this plant outgrown its space? If so, can it be transplanted?
3.       Can we reuse this plant in another area?

Sometimes it is better to have blank space than plantings that look bad or overpower an area. Remove unhealthy plants in your garden and keep the ones that look great. A new homeowner would rather see an empty garden than an out of control garden that looks overwhelming!

If you have more questions or need help with your design, please reach out to David! 
David Burnett
Landscape Designer

Keystone Gardens
250 Conestoga Road
Wayne, PA 19087
Mobile: 609-334-7028

Friday, March 21, 2014

Spring Clean Your Home

Spring is here! WOOHOO! Did you get your free Rita's water ice yesterday? The sun is shining and the weather is ticking up. Personally, I couldn't be happier!

With the sun shining through the windows, you may notice more dust and dirt around your home. Now is the time to start your spring cleaning and offers great cleaning tips. Below are you 2 articles to get you started!

  • Spring Cleaning List

    Don’t you just love that feeling you get when you check items off a list? Get that adrenaline going with our spring cleaning list. Read

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