Keeping up with the latest home trends and decor styles can be exhausting! Here’s our picks for the most essential home upgrades for 2018–bonus: most are cheap and can easily be completed in a weekend!
Smart home gadgets have never been cheaper or more accessible! It’s time to jump on the smart home trend, your home will appreciate it! For complete smart home newbies, try a Nest Thermostat or a Ring Doorbell. They’re the easiest to install and will make your life way easier. For smart home buffs, check out the new Sengled lightbulbs that can play music via Bluetooth! Surround sound without any wiring=win!
Try a Fun Removable Wallpaper
A super easy alternative to letting the kids paint their own room is removable wallpaper! There are so many cool designs and patterns available now and it’s perfect for a no-commitment room refresh. Search Etsy for more custom chic designs! It’s literally as easy as peel-and-stick for this quick upgrade–the wallpaper comes off easily if you change your mind!
Get Rid of a Popcorn Ceiling
Popcorn is for movie theaters, not your ceiling. Popcorn ceilings can really date a home and subconsciously influence a buyer to offer less for your home. It’s not complicated to get rid of but it can be super messy—this would be a great home upgrade to leave to professionals.
Go Bold with Flooring
Big, bold flooring choices are all over Pinterest right now! Laminate and vinyl planks are crazy easy to install so this is a great DIY upgrade! Switching up the flooring can really change a room’s atmosphere and make a big impression on prospective buyers. Spring for luxury vinyl planks or laminate with underlayment attached to make this project even easier–a typical kitchen could probably be completed in a weekend! Just make sure you’re choosing a neutral color that will complement any existing appliances or cabinets!
This coming weekend, we’re excited to announce we have 28 homes being held open! Every visitor that signs in to one of our open houses on May 19th or 20th will have a chance to win one of three Amazon smart voice assistants: the Amazon Echo, Amazon Spot or the Amazon Plus! These are an awesome addition to your existing smart home system or a great way to start automating your home!
All of our agents are excited to see you this weekend — even if you’re not in the market right now for a home, they’d love to be a resource for you until you are ready to begin your home buying journey! The homes being held open are gorgeous and you can explore all of them ahead of time HERE and even use our map to plan your route!
Tips for Potential Buyers
Nervous about visiting your first open house? Not sure what you should do to make the most of your fact-finding mission? Check out our blog about how to take advantage of an open house for buyers! Seeing the home in person and info you gather during an open house can be extremely useful in determining what kind of an offer you should make or whether or not the home is the right fit for your needs!
Tips for Home Sellers
If you’re in the process of selling your home, prepping your home for an open house is extremely important. Make sure you’re checking all the boxes before opening your home to the public with our blog on how to set your home up for success!
The Fredericksburg area’s real estate market remains strong this February with year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median price, and units sold as well as a decrease in average days on market. Inventory is still quite low but that’s good news for sellers, as properties spend fewer days on market and get higher sales prices! Homes priced appropriately are selling much faster than normal due to the scarcity of available properties.
The average sales price in the City of Fredericksburg was $307,797 in March, down 7.1% from this time last year. This makes it a great time to buy, but you may have trouble finding one–homes are spending an average of 86 days on market with only 16 homes sold in March. With so few homes coming on the market, you’ll need to act fast to get your offer accepted.
The average sales price in Stafford County was $343,938 in March, up 11.3% from this time last year. Homes are spending an average of 74 days on market with 85 homes sold in March. It’s a great time to sell in Stafford County so reach out to any of our agents for a free home evaluation!
It’s an awesome time to sell in Spotsylvania County! Average home prices are up 11.2%, with an average sales price of $280,675! While homes are spending 105 days on the market on average, 34 homes were sold in March alone.
The commercial real estate market is also posting positive numbers. Vice President of our Commercial Division, Ben Keddie, comments, “The commercial market has been very active of late. The progress of deals through the sales cycle is still relatively slow but activity and productivity is very high with all signs pointing towards 2018 being a very busy and productive year.”
Everyone knows that first impressions are important but when it comes to selling your home, it makes even more of a difference! We’ll go into our top 3 tips for making your home look like a million bucks (without spending a ton!).
It might be cliche but it’s true—buyers will appreciate (and pay more for) a clean and tidy house! For everyday showings, all surfaces and floors should be clean and any clutter picked up and put away. A subtle air freshener placed near the entryway can help set the mood. You may want to re-arrange the furniture in your home so that it’s easier for people to navigate during showings—this will probably be different from how you normally use your furniture but it’ll make a subconscious difference for the buyers!
When you’re getting your listing pictures done, you’ll want to go the extra mile. This may not be sustainable for everyday life but it’ll make a huge difference when people are searching for homes online. Completely clear off the counters—yes, completely. That means hide your toaster/decorative salt shaker collection/anything else you keep regularly on your counters in cabinets. A big clean empty countertop makes the kitchen or bathroom look bigger. The same goes for all types of visual clutter in the house—anything that can be hidden away in closets or cabinets, should be, at least for the pictures.
Shrubs, Flowers and Trees, Oh My
After you finish reading this paragraph, go outside and take a look at your house. Is the lawn mowed? Are the flowers and bushes blooming or struggling? Is there fresh mulch and does the yard look generally well-kept? If you’re lacking a green thumb, this might be a good time to hire outside help. The yard should look healthy and manicured and complement the home’s features.
Nobody has to know that you don’t normally host extravagant soirees and you’re more likely to heat up a TV dinner than whip up gourmet fare. When you’re selling your home, buyers need your help to see its potential, not just what it’s being used for currently. Fresh flowers in the foyer, luxe throws across the sofa and beautiful place settings at the table allow buyers to imagine what their life could be like in this particular home. If you’ve already moved everything out of the home, it may be worth setting up some decor in the entryway or on the mantle—just to accent the home’s features.
Moving, while stressful, is actually one of the best times to evaluate your wardrobe and all your possessions—if you’re dreading moving it to your new home, it’s probably time to let it go. ThredUp and Letgo are both awesome for paring down your closet and letting your old unwanted items have a new life. Not only will you have less stuff to move, you’ll be able to make some cash!
Schedule and organize your movers all online with Unpakt! If ever a moving website could be fun to use, this one would be! They help you figure out how many boxes you’ll need based on what kind of items you have and the size of your home and then let you compare moving companies’ prices! You can book them online for your move and the price is guaranteed—not an estimate—which is great for budgeting ahead of time!
Sortly is an awesome way to keep track of everything you own! Snap a picture of each of your belongings (or maybe just the ones most important to you!) and categorize them by room, box or any way you want. You can create searchable notes and tags to help you find things quickly and even mark boxes with QR labels to see what’s inside without digging through it! After your move, Sortly can be helpful when you’re figuring out how much you need to insure your home for—if you add the value of each of your items, it’ll total them up for you!
Let’s face it, once all your contingencies are satisfied, there’s not a whole lot for you to do besides pack until closing day. Use that hurrry-up-and-wait time to sketch out where your furniture will go, what decor should go where and what will make your new house flow as best as possible. Bonus: now you know exactly where certain boxes (and the super heavy furniture!) should go and you can label them for the movers so you’re not having to rearrange on the day of!
One of our favorite sites EVER! Updater makes transferring your mail, utilities and subscriptions to your new address a snap! Your CBE agent will put in your old and new addresses and voila! You’ll get a link to easily transfer over all of your mail and make sure your utilities are in order before the big day! A couple clicks and you’re done! Why isn’t everything this easy?
Moving soon and need an awesome checklist to make sure you’ve remembered everything? Check out our Ultimate Moving Checklist and download the room-by-room guide!
The National Association of Realtors released their first ever “Veterans & Active Military Home Buyers and Sellers Profile” in May, which shed some light on military members’ real estate habits and trends. The study showed that 95% of active-duty members and 88% of veterans use real estate agents to buy and sell their homes, so it’s worth it to find a brokerage that’s especially equipped to take care of our servicemembers and adapt to fit their unique needs.
Most millennials are struggling to break into the world of homeownership, but one demographic is bucking the trend: active military members. The report revealed that the average active military homebuyer buys their first home at 34—six years earlier than their civilian contemporaries. Our agents pride themselves on being tech-savvy in order to make the home buying and selling process easier. We use Docusign, so you (and your spouse) can sign documents online or from your phone, without even needing to be in the same country! We have easy-to-use home search apps so you can make the most of your free time and easily check out properties you’re interested in. We understand that sometimes it’s easier to FaceTime, Skype or text and we have a slew of online tools to help you stay on top of the process, even when you have to be miles away.
We Can Help You Save Money
The NAR profile found that active military members buy bigger(more than 2,000 sq ft), and more expensive (median price of $226,000) homes than non-military buyers. Luckily, the Veterans Affairs loan is an extremely popular program available to active members and veterans—in fact, 54% of veterans and 74% of active duty members use a VA loan to finance their home.
These loans offer 100% financing and eliminate mortgage insurance payments. Our agents stay up-to-date with the VA’s requirements and help veterans take advantage of any discounts and benefits they may be entitled to.
We Make the Search Easy
Not only do we have awesome apps that make narrowing down your options a snap, our agents consistently use high-quality, professional photography and video for our listings as well as 3D tours and aerial drone footage. We’ve even done video walkthroughs on specific properties for clients if there’s something in particular they really want to see that’s not in the pictures. If there’s a home you’re interested in, we’ll make sure you can visualize every part of it and feel really comfortable making an offer, no matter how far away you’re stationed!
We’ll Introduce You
Our Relocation Department can help you find a really great Coldwell Banker agent in whatever city or country you’re moving to—no need to blindly call the first agent you find on Google! We’ll make sure you’re taken care of and stay in touch during the process if you have any issues! Many of our agents are also veterans, so we’ve been there! Moving to a new city can be alienating but our agents can recommend any businesses or services you might need, as well as put you in touch with some local groups or clubs! PCSing is no fun, but we can help take as much of the stress out of the process as possible so you can move in, make friends and get on with your life!
Call us today if you need help relocating, finding a home or just getting to know the area!