When you’re selling your home, you want it to look its best to buyers. Unfortunately, buyers are likely to notice any cracks or stains on your floor.


Luckily, there are many do-it-yourself solutions to help make your floors look significantly better.


Let’s start with stains.


If you have carpeting, there are a number of spot cleaning products on the market. But before you try one of those, consider this simple remedy. Sprinkle a little baking soda on the stain and then add just enough drops of white vinegar to make it bubble. Wait two minutes. Then, dab carefully with a paper towel and vacuum the residual. This method often works.


For hard floors, gentle rubbing with warm water will take care of most stains. If you have hardwood floors, don’t let the area remain wet. Dry it completely.


Ceramic tile floors often have old, discolored grout that is an eyesore. Of course, there are products available to clean grout. But try using an old toothbrush and water before investing in those products. Scrub the grout gently. Then mop the entire area.


If you have minor damage to a section of hardwood floor or floor tiles — for example, a chip or crack — the best solution is a replacement. Unfortunately, this isn’t a DIY-friendly job, so unless you’ve done it successfully before, consider hiring a contractor.


If the crack is minor and you don’t want to replace the piece, there are sealing products available, which will camouflage the crack — to some extent — and prevent it from getting worse.


If you have a flooring crack or stain you’re concerned about, try these tips. Also, check out your local home improvement center for more ideas.

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In the business world, a phrase that’s often used is ROI or Return On Investment. It refers to the regular gain (or loss) you’re getting from a particular asset relative to its cost.

When it comes to your home, the gain may be more than financial. It may include the benefit of the lifestyle it gives you. For example, a spacious backyard deck pays off in countless pleasant Saturdays with friends and family. A home’s location near convenient commuting routes means less stress getting to and from work.

Lifestyle factors are important, not only when considering where you’re living now, but also when considering where you think you’d like to live in the future.

That’s why it’s a good idea to do a Lifestyle Assessment regularly. The exercise is simple. Make a list of all the lifestyle characteristics you want in a home, as well as a neighborhood. Think about how much room you need, the kind of neighborhood you want to live in, your hobbies and interests, what’s important to have nearby (such as schools), and so forth.

The next step is to prioritize. Move items on your list around so that the most important lifestyle factors are at the top.

Finally, review the list and check off those lifestyle factors your home is currently providing.

If you’re able to check off most (ideally, all) of the items at the top of your list, you’re in pretty good shape. Your current home is probably giving you the lifestyle you want.

But if some important lifestyle factors are unchecked, it might be worth considering whether buying a new home will give you a better “Lifestyle ROI”.

If, after doing this exercise, you’re curious about how to get into your ideal home, call me.

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When it comes to home security, most homeowners think about door locks and alarms. These are, of course, very important. However, there is also a lot you can do around your property to prevent the possibility of a break-in.


One important part of home security is outdoor lighting. Your home doesn’t need to be lit up like a baseball diamond at night, but your exterior lighting should illuminate your yard enough to be a deterrent to burglars.


Some burglars hide around the property and wait for someone to arrive and open the door so they can use that opportunity to force their way into your home.


Security experts suggest that you walk around your property and look for areas where someone could hide, such as behind a tall shrubbery or a tool shed. Make sure these areas are well lit.


Pay particular attention to lighting around exterior doors, especially the back door.


Experts also recommend that exterior lighting be installed with a timed dimmer. The lights can then be set to cast a bright light in the early evening, and then a dimmer light throughout the rest of the night.


Lights installed with motion detectors can also be effective in certain areas. The sensors will cause the light to turn on or brighten when someone comes onto that part of your property. Generally, thieves will flee as soon as they see a light turn on.


Do you hide a spare key under the front door mat or in a flower pot? You may think you have found a clever spot, but experienced thieves know all the common hiding places. So, if you need to have a spare key available, put it in a small combination lock box and hide the box. Even if a burglar finds the box, he won’t be able to open it and access the key.

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As in any industry, there are terms and buzzwords that are unique to residential real estate.

When you put your home on the market, you should know what those terms mean. Here are definitions for the most common ones:


Fair market value: This is an estimate of how much a specific home will sell for in today’s market, taking into account what similar properties in the area have sold for recently.


Seller’s Agent: That would be me, the real estate professional who is helping you sell your property. I would also assist you in finding and buying your next home.


Buyer’s Agent: This is the real estate professional who is representing the buyer of the property you want to sell.


Pre-approved Mortgage: This is a statement (often in the form of a certificate) from your bank or other lender that states that you qualify for a mortgage for a particular amount of money. A pre-approved mortgage adds credibility to any offer you make on a new home.


Staging: This is a strategy where a home is purposely prepared so that it appeals to potential buyers. Staging may involve cleaning, de-cluttering, rearranging furniture, redecorating, and more.


Survey: This is a document that defines the boundaries and measurements of your property and any structures on it.


Offer: This is an offer of purchase, in writing, for a particular property.


Conditional Offer: This is an offer to purchase, but with conditions – such as “conditional on a satisfactory home inspection” or “conditional on arranging suitable financing”.

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Can you afford to purchase the home you really want? Here are some things to consider:

  • What kind of home do you want? What kind of area do you want to live in? What features and characteristics do you need in a home? (Three bedrooms? A large living room for entertaining? A backyard big enough for a garden?)

  • What homes currently on the market match that criteria? Are there some properties for sale that are close to what you’re looking for? What are their listing prices? How much, realistically, will it cost to buy one of those homes?

  • How much, realistically, can you expect to get for the sale of your current property?

  • How much of a mortgage will you need? How does that compare to the mortgage you qualify for?

  • What additional costs will you incur when selling your current property and purchasing your new home? (For example, moving, home inspection, repairs and renovations, closing costs, etc.)

Chances are, there’s a home on the market that you can afford – and is right for you.

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