connie vallone

High-Resale Value Weekend Projects You Can Take On

In Buying a new home, Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Design Trends, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Investment, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on March 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

“There’s no place like home,” as the old saying goes. That’s especially true when it comes to an investment. 

You live in and love your home, but there might come a time when you have to leave it. And when that time comes, you’ll want to get as much money as you can for your property so you can move onward—and upward.

In order to increase your abode’s value, you might think you have to put in a ton of time, effort and money, but that’s not entirely true. Instead, you can take on weekend projects over time to spruce the place up so when it’s time to sell, you have a completely updated property that’ll end up selling itself.

Ready to get to work? Roll up your sleeves and start on one of the following five weekend projects.

1. Repaint Your Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to smart investment in your home, the kitchen is one of the best places to start. Buyers expect kitchens to be updated. Stone countertops, stainless appliances and sleek flooring all make a space feel modern. Obviously, these changes require a lot of money and, sometimes, a lot of time. That’s why you can tackle it in bits and start first with your cabinets.

Old wooden cabinets with equally dated hardware—think oak doors with shiny brass handles—don’t require a complete gut job. Instead, spend a weekend repainting them a more neutral hue. Finish the project off with new metallic knobs and pulls to complete the modernized look. 

2. Make the Eye Go up With Crown Molding

Most homes have roughly the same ceiling heights, but there’s a little trick to make yours look bigger: crown molding. Yes, that white line at the top of your painted walls will draw eyes upward, making the room appear airier than it may very well be.

The project is easy enough to complete, too. You might not be able to install molding throughout your entire home over a single weekend, but you can certainly tackle the project on a room-by-room basis. Again, start with the spaces likely to draw in the most moolah:

  • Kitchens
  • Bathrooms
  • Living spaces
  • Master bedrooms 

These tend to be the make-or-break rooms when it comes to a big purchase. Crown molding adds a bit of detail—a feeling of luxury that’ll certainly add to the bottom line. 

3. Boost Curb Appeal—and Backyard Bonuses

No one will come in your home unless the first impression is stunning. Another DIY project should be a landscape overhaul of your front yard. It can be something as simple as adding a path of pavers to your front yard or sprucing up your flowerbeds with colorful blooms. All of this will catch the eye of potential buyers—and fatten up the bottom line of the offers they make.

Another easy fix: your garage door. If it’s street-facing, it’s another area for prospective buyers to look at, and it has a great return on investment

You don’t have to stop with the front of your home. If you live in a climate that permits lots of outdoor activity, you’ll want a backyard to match. Some projects may require you rent or buy tools for landscaping and other applications, but imagine the payoff from, for example, the beauty of a functioning fire pit in your backyard. Not only will you be able to enjoy it while you’re still living in your home, but potential buyers will easily be able to envision themselves sitting around a fire. 

4. Beautify the Bathrooms

Bathrooms have a big effect on buyers. They expect clean, modern updates, just like in the kitchen. Overhauling your powder room is an easy weekend task that might require small swaps, such as a new modern light fixture over the vanity or a new vanity altogether.

Your full bathrooms will require a bit more attention if you want them to be up to snuff. Again, look in the familiar places:

  • Lighting fixtures
  • Cabinets
  • Hardware
  • Countertops
  • Tile 

You don’t have to shell out a ton of money to have someone else re-tile a wall or backsplash in your bathroom, either, if you have the patience to demo and tile the space yourself.

5. Out with the Really Old

Some accents once considered fresh and fashionable now give your home a dated appearance. You probably already know what in your home screams ’70s, ’80s or ’90s. Whatever it is should go in due course.

The list of outdated design elements is truly endless, but some of the biggest offenders are old school wallpaper, the floor-to-ceiling wood paneling that may or may not be actual wood, and, of course, popcorn ceilings. By removing these three offenders alone—a popcorn ceiling doesn’t take much effort—your home will snap right into 2017.

Once people start envisioning themselves living in your home, you won’t have to envision offers pouring in—they’ll start coming thanks to your hard work. You go, weekend warrior. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com

Mortgage Rates Dribble Down

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Improvement, Home Maintenance, Home Selling, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Investment, Selling Your Home, Texas, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on March 21, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Mortgage rates dribbled down this week after a month of minimal movement, with the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaging 4.1 percent, according to Freddie Mac’s recently released Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®). The movement of rates is off-mark from that of the Treasury yield, says Sean Becketti, chief economist at Freddie Mac.

“The 10-year Treasury yield remained relatively flat this week, while the 30-year mortgage rate fell six basis points to 4.1 percent,” Becketti says. “Since the beginning of the year, the 10-year Treasury yield has covered a 22-basis point range. The range of movement for the 30-year has been half that, just 11 basis points.”

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is down from 4.16 percent the prior week, according to the survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averages 3.32 percent, down from the prior week, 3.37 percent, while the 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averages 3.14 percent, also down from the prior week, 3.16 percent.

The Federal Reserve will make a decision on whether to raise the key interest rate, which has an indirect after-effect on mortgage rates, in mid-March.

Source: Freddie Mac  RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

Do you have real estate questions?   Contact Connie Vallone at (713) 249-4177 or connie@knowsrealestate.com or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com.

5 Things to Pay Attention to on a Walk-Through

In Home Buying, Home buying in West Houston, Home Selling, Home Staging, Home Values, Houston Real Estate, Marketing your home, Moving, Sellers, Selling Your Home, West Houston Real Estate, West Houston REALTOR Connie Vallone on March 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm

You’ve done your research online and narrowed down the neighborhoods and homes you’re most interested in. The next step? Visit your top picks in person. But what should you look for? What real estate information will you be able to determine live that you couldn’t find in the photos and details you already looked at online? Here’s a list of what to look for when on a walk-through:

The neighborhood. Sure, you found out all about school quality, crime stats, proximity to transportation and more during your online research, but nothing compares to being there. Take a look at traffic patterns, the condition of surrounding homes, the neighbors, their yards, etc. After you’ve toured the house, take a few minutes for a quick stroll around the block. This will give you a much better sense of the neighborhood you may come to call home.

The home’s exterior. Photos online only allow you to get so close, so while you’re on site, carefully inspect the entire exterior of the home, advises Forbes. Is the paint chipping? Are the shingles in need of repair? How about the gutters? Repairs needed in any of these areas will factor greatly into your bid or can serve as a helpful negotiating point.

The smell. One thing you definitely cannot research online is how a home smells. So put your nose to work to sniff out mold, pet damage, air quality and general cleanliness.

The light. Sure, those appealing descriptions may have raved about the home’s natural light, but visit every room of the house to make your own assessment.

The size. But wait – with loads of photos and the exact square footage listed online, you already know the size of the home, right? Yes and no. You know the size on paper but you don’t really have a sense of size until you’re there. Photos tend to make rooms look more spacious and ceiling height adds another layer to perceived spaciousness.

Above all, the most important thing you will determine from a walk-through is completely intangible, namely, how the home feels. Square footage, gourmet kitchen and wrap-around porch aside, you need to be able to picture yourself living there. And that is something you can’t determine until you’re there. So don’t rush – take your time and really try the house on.

I hope you found these tips useful. Contact me for more helpful home advice and real estate information. RISMedia Tracking Snippet *** Do Not Remove *** End RISMedia Tracking Snippet

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2017. All rights reserved.

If you are interested in buying or selling real estate in West Houston, please contact Connie Vallone with First Market Realty, Inc at 713 249 4177, connie@knowsrealestate.com   or visit www.houstonenergycorridorhomes.com  or www.vallonehomes.com