Pick a room…any room…the room that is the focal point of your home. The one room that sees the most traffic and draws friends, family and visitors in like flies to a bug light on a hot summer night.
Master bedroom? I hope not. Laundry room? Not in my house? I would be willing to wager that your answer is the same as mine – the kitchen.
So when I see a feature with a title like “X Ways to Make Your Kitchen Feel Bigger”, it’s hard to pass a read. Making any kitchen feel bigger would be a definite plus for any Saint Paul home sale. On the scale of honorable pursuits, it would be right there next to cleanliness and baking cookies right before a showing.
Increasingly, today’s Saint Paul homebuyers think of the kitchen as the center of family entertaining—the center of gravity where everyone hangs out more than anywhere else. It’s true that if another room features a giant TV entertainment center or a tasty buffet, that might be serious competition for the family’s attention….but that buffet has to start somewhere. But although it might be a place that will occupy goodly chunks of everyone’s time, it’s in the kitchen where family and friends wind up interacting the most and which gets the most scrutiny when it comes to a home sale.
There’s no debate that in today’s Saint Paul market, a claustrophobic our outdated kitchen can slow an otherwise appealing home’s sale. It’s an easy fix right? Hiring an architect and/or contractor, pulling permits, trashing your home for months (starting with a Mt. St. Helens sized dust cloud during demo), etc. to physically expand a kitchen is a major undertaking that will cost more than it returns. So finding ways to make your kitchen feel bigger without blowing out walls and tearing up the property for months on end, well—that’s definitely worth looking into.
To cut to the chase, most of the Feel Bigger Solutions aren’t magical: they turn out to be design ideas that maximize storage efficiency. To achieve positive home sale results, the idea is to systematically substitute suffocating kitchen clutter with eye-pleasing open space.
One clear tactic is to make the most of any existing counter space and it’s “support”. The space beneath your granite, silestone, or formica (my house) is ideal for “smart” storage solutions. Googling smart storage yields 1,000,000+ results (not to mention the ads), comprising a ready-made resource for maxing out the cubic feet that are ready to use right there on the perimeter of the kitchen.
On the opposing side of the “feel bigger” agenda is the suggestion to abandon one of Saint Paul most popular design ideas of bygone eras: the overhead cupboard. When you remove those overheads, a whole lot of claustrophobia goes with them. Unfortunately, a good deal of storage space goes with them.
That brings up two other tried-and-true alternatives. First, placing shelving on unused wall space can solve some of the storage dilemma—most pleasingly, when it’s some variety of open shelving. Kitchen design publications are filled with examples of appealing open and glass-windowed shelving – none of which are easy to clean, nor can you reach the items you need on the top shelf….but I’m not forming an opinion.
Second is what could be the most useful, least expensive, and easily adopted insight for making your Saint Paul kitchen fell bigger: just get rid of excess kitchen stuff! It’s simple but true. Removing unused utensils, pots & pans and kitchenware can work miracles. For the gourmet-pleasing cooks who can’t get by without a lot of exotic cookery aids, the solution is an off-site storage solution in the garage or dedicated closet. The minor inconvenience will be worth it if a quicker home sale results—besides, the extra going back and forth is healthy exercise, right – and it’s the time of year when we all get some healthy exercise (on our way to the refrigerator for a snack)?
So the kitchen is a really big deal – the focal point of your home – for you and your potential home buyer. Think long and hard about updates and renovations, especially if you’re planning to sell them home in the near future. There are easy and inexpensive ways to make that most important room in the home more appealing and functional before you start writing big checks and tearing out walls.
If you’re planning to list your Saint Paul home – sooner or later – a good place to start is with a no-obligation consultation about your home and kitchen and today’s Saint Paul real estate market. Call me at (651) 251-4898 or email me at email@example.com.
New house and new car…off the top of your head, can you name two more impactful purchases? Two big ticket items, often lumped together. New house and new car, two big ticket items that couldn’t be more different.
The rationale for buying a new car is clear: a new car looks cool.
Ok, maybe that’s just me and the real reasons are more like this: automotive technology advances nearly every model year, improving fuel economy and safety.
And then you get that intoxicating new car smell, and the car (or truck) looks really cool and the whole thing is a done deal pretty quickly.
Similarly, when the question is put to a cross-section of typical Americans, new homes get the nod over existing ones. The percentage of those who “strongly” or “somewhat” prefer buying a newly built home weighs in at 41%. That’s a 2-to-1 margin over those who say they favor existing homes.
With such pronounced popularity, you might think it means that Saint Paul new homes should sell twice as rapidly as those previously owned—but that’s not the case. It isn’t just that there’s no intoxicating new house smell. It’s all about the cost factor.
The preference numbers come from the latest survey run by Trulia, which also reported the major reasons given. “Modern features” were cited, along with the “ability to customize the home.” The first reason is perhaps more sensible than the second since the survey’s definition of “new home” included newly-built homes that were fully completed. An existing property can usually be customized (remodeled) as readily as a finished new home.
In any case, the popular leaning toward new homes is tempered in practice when it comes to dollars and cents. Among those who strongly prefer a new home, only 46% are willing to pay for the privilege when it comes to actually writing the check. Since the national average is for new homes to be priced at a 20% premium over existing properties with similar features, that original “strong” preference often takes a backseat to a slightly stronger one—working within the family budget.
So why – then – would “new” be so much more desirable to consumers? It’s pretty easy to see once you take a walk through the properties. They’re energy efficient, clean, designed to accommodate the desires of today’s home buyer, and you won’t be writing checks for repairs anytime soon (certainly during the course of the new home’s warranty). Low maintenance, high efficiency, and thoughtfully laid out….for many people that premium they pay is worth every penny!
Fortunately for those who do become Saint Paul new home owners, the long-term outcome differs from what new car buyers experience. Whereas the joy of driving a new model automobile off the dealer’s lot is tempered by an instantaneous drop in its resale value, nothing similar happens when you take ownership of a new Saint Paul home. Home values have risen steadily over the last 5 years and if that trend continues there should always be value in the walls and roof that surround you.
Some terrific Saint Paul new and existing homes are out there awaiting new owners. Give me a call at (651) 251-4898 or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org whenever you’d like to take a look!
In the meantime – as I’m quite content in my home – I’ll spend the afternoon dreaming of my new truck purchase (that may not come anytime soon but a fella can dare to dream!).
The cool mornings and beautiful leaves leave no doubt that Fall has arrived. Normally we would see a slowdown in the housing market as winter approaches, but that hasn’t been the case in 2017. Listings continue to appear on the MLS, and with them come photos taken to give home buyers a look into their prospective purchase. Those Saint Paul listing photos will become the definitive beauty shots—the equivalent of the glamorous depictions that grace product packaging…and it’s easy to tell which agents are snapping their own pics (usually with their phones) and who’s investing in the work of a pro. All it takes is casual look to understand that a picture can be worth thousands of dollars!
Manufacturers know very well the import of how their product looks on the carton, jar or bag. It’s why top commercial photographers rely on “product stylists” (they’re the experts who sort through 100 bags of potato chips to come up with the two or three that will photograph perfectly). I don’t know many agents that go to that extreme – speaking from experience the photogs I work with are pretty good at getting the right shots.
Saint Paul listing photos no longer have anything to do with 20th-century cameras or film. But it’s not just the move to digital that’s responsible for creating a higher quality Saint Paul listing photos. To guarantee you maximize the quality of your own Saint Paul home’s listing photos, it remains a team effort…and you’re on the team. Four elements are called for:
- Equipment. Even now, the technology behind photo equipment is advancing rapidly. What used to require compliments of hot lamps, stands, and even a reflector or two can now be accomplished with a single travel case of lightweight equipment. Still vital: the “eye”
of the knowledgeable pro behind the lens.
- Patience. For the critical exterior shot, Mother Nature controls most of the timing. The photographers creating the best Saint Paul listing photos don’t just take weather into account—they factor in the house’s orientation and the time of day that will show it to its best advantage, and plan accordingly.
- Home prep. This NAR®’s real estate photo tutorial emphasizes how important preparation can be on the big day because “little
things can make—or break—listing photos.” Examples are paying special attention to blinds, bedspreads and shower curtains (making sure they are smooth)—as well as removing any and all unnecessary knick-knacks.
- The digital finale. It used to be that fine photo correcting was a time-consuming art practiced mainly in the production studios of national publications. That’s no longer the case. Digital images can be quickly refined via
ubiquitous photo processing software that makes retouching and image enhancing part of the professional’s everyday bag of tricks.
If you’re looking for some examples of truly awful real estate photography – look no further than this website – terriblerealestatephotos.com.
I’ve been scrolling through this one regularly, and thankfully have yet to run across one of my listing photos.
The listing photos are so important – every home buyer gives them a thorough look before deciding whether or not to visit a home. A bad first impression often means there won’t be a second look, and that means no sale! So the bottom line is a picture can be worth thousands of dollars!
When it’s your time to list, I hope you’ll allow me to demonstrate the personal care that makes selling your Saint Paul home a low-stress experience! I’m always available via phone at (651) 251-4898 or email at email@example.com.
Figuring out the perfect pricing for any Saint Paul home for sale would be easier if there were a way to confirm past instances that hit that mark precisely.
It’s the nature of the beast: it’s simply not possible. Even if a comparable Saint Paul home’s asking price resulted in being sold immediately at that exact amount, it only could have been priced perfectly. We can’t know that it wasn’t priced too low or even priced too high (although a good appraiser will keep a home from selling for TOO MUCH).
Even if the pricing on some Saint Paul home was quickly met and even exceeded—IOW, it resulted in a bidding war —that might be evidence that it had been originally priced too low. Even that isn’t certain because the supposed underpricing resulted in a sale that was higher than expected, which is a perfect result. So perhaps that was the perfect pricing.
You see the ambiguity, and despite my head spinning through the different combinations and permutations – I do too.
So if you can’t ever determine what constitutes perfection in pricing—even after the books are closed on a given sale—then there is no way to guarantee a number will result in the maximum outcome. That’s why the whole issue of pricing any Saint Paul home is forever going to be an art – with as much science thrown in as possible, and getting the “science” part right is pretty important.
When it comes to pricing Saint Paul homes, it stands to reason that the mortgage lending industry would have put maximum effort into determining the most predictive residential real estate values: in other words, any Saint Paul home’s most realistic pricing. A week ago, one of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders offered their advice to homeowners. They acknowledged that while “we’re on an upward swing” in property values in general, it’s still important to get “a very accurate estimate of home value” to attract multiple buyers and avoid surprises during the sale process.
Their three steps to discovering that
- Online search. Using the massive amount of data is a starting point for establishing a baseline.
- Knowing the Market. It’s vital to measure your own house against those that are most similar to yours and on the market now. Visits to nearby open houses will offer the best opportunities to observe how similar homes are priced and marketed.
- Calling in the pros. Get yourself the assistance of a real estate professional—and the opinion of other pros like lenders and appraisers. All of the above will dig deep into current and historical comparable sales figures as well as years of experience and neighborhood knowledge.
Perfection in pricing might not be attainable, but that’s ok. Success in selling is the most important goal in making a move. Maximizing your home’s value through effective marketing and networking, helping to negotiate the best possible deal, and seeing the process through from the listing to closing – those are all a part of what I can offer a potential home seller in St. Paul and the rest of the Metro!
To learn more about your home’s value, the process of listing and selling, and how a smart agent can help you make a great deal – give me a call at (651) 251-4898 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Selling your house is hard work. You make repairs, analyze the surrounding market to establish a logical and appealing listing price, take pictures, fill out the listing documents, take a phone call from the office chiding you for all your spelling mistakes, double check for accuracy and then turn on the marketing and networking machine.
It’s a good thing you know an experienced, smart, savvy, charming, good looking and hard working real estate agent to take on the lion’s share of the work (who can always be reached at (651) 251-4898 or email@example.com).
Your life – as a home seller – is made easier when you have an experienced professional on your side. While I’m dealing with the listing, marketing, and communications with prospective buyers and their agents you have one job: getting your house ready to be seen and sold.
This can be a challenge for home sellers as two formidable opponents have to be met and conquered. Taken individually, neither is nearly as imposing as when they team up. But when they work together, they can stall a home sale for months—even years. Unfortunately, they’re always hanging around the house, waiting to cause trouble.
The villains are inertia and its helpmate, clutter.
Inertia is the force that pushes you back in your seat when your jetliner takes off. It’s the force that keeps the car moving after you’ve taken your foot off the gas. It’s the physical property of a body at rest (or in motion) that opposes a change in what is happening at the moment.
In the realm of home ownership, real estate inertia is the natural tendency to stay put in your familiar home setting. Rather than upsetting the apple cart by striking out in a new direction, it’s the understandable propensity to leave well enough alone—even when the familiar home base is no longer as suitable a venue as it used to be.
This despite the fact that as our family or work or financial situations evolve, sooner or later most everyone will overcome house-related inertia and start thinking about selling and finding a better fit. That might be larger or smaller, grander or simpler, or simply more conveniently located. That’s when inertia’s partner comes into play to stop everything.
Clutter is all the stuff we’ve built up to make our lives more comfortable—and there is a lot of it we could do without. But the idea of actually addressing which things are disposable, and then actually disposing of them? Well, nobody in his or her right mind wants to tackle that (at least not right now).
While we’re here, take a moment to think about the things in your home that constitute clutter….in my house it’s the accumulated boxes and piles and crates of kid toys. I’m confident that the Hot Wheels, Nerf Guns, and Legos will never again see the light of day in our home. What do you have that constitutes clutter?
To make a mathematical formula for this common phenomenon:
inertia + clutter = later
The foolproof strategy for overcoming the two scoundrels is to cut the clutter part down to size. Tackle one room at a time. It works. True, this involves overcoming a certain amount of inertia—but nothing like the mountain of the stuff that thinking about the whole household full of the stuff involves.
Have a garage sale, make a donation, consign your stuff or just find friends that can make better use of your unused (but always loved) things.
My i + c = l formula probably might not be included in any physics textbooks, but it’s a good one to remember as soon as you begin to think about selling your house.
Selling your house is hard work, the best way to make things easier is to give me a call at (651) 251-4898 or email me at joe.anderson@results. net.