Get More from a Flat Fee Broker.

Home » Coming Together for Our Clients

Coming Together for Our Clients

ListWell brokers make the effort to know their communities. Knowing the real estate market is a big part of that, but it’s not all of it. Our kids go to local schools, we participate in community events, and we work with other local business. Karin from Mission Viejo, California said her broker was “a great source for providing contact names for whatever was needed to solve fix-it issues.” Randall from Dana Point, California echoed that statement saying his broker “provided excellent service all the way around from providing objective advice, recommendations for staging prior to listing, and references for economical repair services.”

We give you the details so you can make informed decisions as you prepare your home to sell. Tom S., a ListWell broker in Orange County, California, is involved with the local Chamber of Commerce, a collective of professionals in the business community who come together to better serve their clients and community. This gives him a chance to get to know the service providers available in the area. “Working with the local business and trades people gives us a wide array of vendors at our disposal,” said Tom. “We can make sure to get the best services for our clients’ particular needs while being mindful of quality and value.”

We realize good business happens when everyone wins.

You Are Moving – Lighten the Load

10 Affordable Improvements to Increase Home Value

Enjoy your home more today — and sell it for the best price tomorrow.

When it comes to home improvement, some dollars stretch more than others. And if you’re on a limited budget, it becomes even more important to spend those dollars wisely. Listed here are 10 affordable improvements to increase home value. Enjoy your home more today with a few of these projects, while providing excellent financial return in the future.

1. A Touch of Molding

Buyers often rank crown molding and chair railing at the top of their list of most desirable decorative features they seek in a home. Decorative molding is one of the most dramatic ways to dress up a room, plus it’s a budget-friendly improvement that trims a room for a finished and expensive look.

crown-molding

Popular wood moldings come in literally hundreds of options (from simple to ornate) that you can stain, paint, or leave natural. Be creative! You can even find moldings that include lighting; adding a soft, ambient glow.

Helpful tips about molding:

  • Use crown molding that makes a room seem bigger and taller. But be careful about proportions. Do not overwhelm the room. If your ceiling height is 9 feet or less, go with simpler styles.
  • Place chair railing at one-third the distance of the ceiling height. Chair railing placed incorrectly can make a room seem out of proportion.
  • Don’t forget entryways, doors, and windows: Bump up the trim around these areas to give rooms a completed and expensive feel.
  • Hire a professional. DIY installation is only recommended for homeowners with above-par mitering skills.

2. Install Quality Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are hands down the #1 feature on buyers’ decorative wish lists. Over the years, ceiling fans have become quite the crowd pleaser. Today, ceiling fans have evolved into an essential component of American homes as energy prices continue to rise. And since designs have caught up with the times, they come in a variety of styles and colors to complement any room.  If your ceiling fans are old and outdated, new ones (coupled with a fresh paint job and crown molding) could give your rooms a refreshing update while saving money.

3. Plant Trees

Although they say money doesn’t grow on trees, it’s true that trees are moneymakers that get better with age. In fact, planting trees can save hundreds annually on energy costs, lower stress, prevent erosion, and protect your home from weather damage.

But don’t just run out and plant trees willy-nilly. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Plant shade trees on the south side of the house where the sun beats strongest and longest.
  • Lower winter energy costs by planting windbreak trees on the north and northwest sides of your property.
  • Don’t plant too close. Branches can scrape roofs and siding, causing expensive damage.

4. Install a Patio

Patios are a great cost-effective way to increase your home’s living space, and you can easily expect a 30% to 60% return on your investment. One big reason is that decks and patios are a sweet way to expand living space at a low cost without actually adding on another room.porchswing_hwtf-7-640x800

Already have a patio? GREAT! Scope out easy décor ideas on social sites like Pinterest and Houzz. Simply adding a porch swing or firepit can provide just enough ambiance and “wow factor” to impress potential buyers. Don’t go crazy and trick out your patio with high-end amenities (like an outdoor kitchen) especially if you’d be the only one on the block with one. When it’s time to sell, you won’t get back much (if any) of your investment on high-end amenities. Instead, keep it simple and functional. (And, really, how often would you use an outdoor kitchen?)

5. Pump Up Your Home Security

 Many home buyers nowadays look for a home security system (particularly security cameras) and list it as one of their list most-wanted technology features. The peace of mind that comes with installing a home security system is priceless, plus is will make your home more marketable.

You don’t have to go over the top and install high-tech security gadgets, like smartphone-operated locks or a laser trip wire. You can keep it simple with a keypad that communicates with sensors and motion detectors throughout your house.

6. Do Almost Any Energy-Efficient Upgrade

The value of energy-efficient houses just keeps going up and up.

One home improvement project that not only saves energy but gives you tons of enjoyment, too, is converting a wood-burning fireplace into a gas one. Homebuyers often list a gas fireplace as a desirable feature of the next home they purchase. If you don’t have an existing fireplace, a direct-vent gas fireplace can be installed and finished for around $5,000. Your ROI is practically guaranteed as it raises desirability to potential buyers by nearly 30%.

7. Add Some Creative Storage

Built in storage and organization is a huge selling point in the housing market. Since when have you heard someone complain about too much storage? Never, right?

So, adding storage is a no-brainer, but it can take a little brainpower to find your home’s hidden storage potential.

8. Light Up the Outdoors

 Make your home shine in the evening with exterior lighting. It not only accents features you like most about your house, it also helps keep burglars away. Whether you choose hard-wired lighting fixtures or easy to install solar lighting, it’s easier and more cost-effective than ever to boost your home’s nighttime curb appeal. Plus, 90% of buyers say outdoor lighting is a highly desired home feature, so you could potentially receive a 50% return on your investment.

Here are some great lighting tips:

  • Accent lights placed under your favorite trees will show off your landscaping’s top earners.
  • Hard-wired lights should be placed on a timer so you don’t waste energy running them during the day.
  • Choose a warm, white light. It’ll make your home look and feel welcoming.

9. Replace Your Front Door

Curb appeal is key, plain and simple. Take a walk to the street and put yourself in a potential buyer’s position…they are stepping out of the car and the face of your home is the first thing they will see. Your front door should silently welcome and beckon them to come inside. Replacing or even adding a fresh coat of paint to your old front door is a project that not only kicks up curb appeal but it also yields the best payback.

10. Kitchen Upgrade

 The kitchen is often considered to be the “hub” of a home, so an upgrade is a wise consideration before placing your home on the market. Don’t worry, a kitchen remodel doesn’t have to be a huge and expensive project to be impressive. Here are a few simple upgrades that will yield a great return on investment:

  • New flooring
  • Refacing instead of replacing cabinets
  • Add modestly priced appliances
  • Paint the walls a light neutral color to make it feel fresh and clean

Over the past few years, we often tend to disregard the importance of wholesome lifestyle in one way or the other. Though medicines still help us. Happily, there are web-sites where you can get medications with ease. There are varied medicines which give you everything you need to be ready on your own terms. If you are considering price comparison per pill, you perhaps want to read about you. Now many patients search for the exact phrase on search engines. Also, consider viagra price. A spread form of sexual dysfunction among men is the erectile malfunction. By the way, such kind of dysfunctions can be an early warning symptom of serious health problems, such as diabetes. What must patients tell a physician before ordering Kamagra? Discuss with your physician if you are taking any other medicaments. Also, the best way to avoid bogus remedies is to get prescription medicines like Kamagra from a respected apothecary with which you are familiar.

Best Advice Before Moving Into a New House

Congratulations are in order! You just purchased a new home, you have keys in hand, and you are ready to schedule your move-in date…great, but not so fast! Yes, we know you are anticipating the big day, but taking a few moments to familiarize yourself with your new digs can save you big money and a lot of headaches in the future. Here is a helpful list of 9 things everyone should do before moving into a new house.

1. Know Where the Main Water Shutoff Valve is

Water from a burst or broken plumbing pipe can spew dozens of gallons into your home’s interior in a matter of minutes, soaking everything in sight — including drywall, flooring, and valuables. In fact, water damage is one of the most common of all household insurance claims.

Its important to know how to turn off your main water valve if you have a future plumbing emergency, if a hurricane or tornado is headed your way, or if you’re going out of town. The shutoff valve will be located where a water main enters your house. (It could inside or outside) To test the valve, turn the knob until it’s off. Then turn on any faucet in the house; no water should come out.

Remember, a timely reaction can stave off a major bummer. Once you located and tested the main water valve, make sure everyone knows where it is and how to close it. Here’s one more tip…a little penetrating oil on the valve stem makes sure it’ll work when you need it to.

2. Check for Plumbing Leaks

Although your home inspector should do this for you before closing, it never hurts to double-check.  Check your kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry areas for dripping faucets and running toilets. Check your water heater for signs of a leak as well.

Here’s a neat trick: Watch your water meter at the beginning and end of a two-hour window in which no water is being used in your house. If the reading is different, you have a leak.

3. Introduce Yourself to Your Circuit Breaker Box

It’s a good idea to figure out which fuses control what parts of your house and label them accordingly. Although this is an easy project it will take two people: One to stand in the room where the power is supposed to go off, the other to trip the fuses and yell, “Did that work? How about now?”

4. Change the Locks

Yes, you have the keys in hand, but you really don’t know who else has keys to your home, so our advice is to change the locks. This ensures you’re the only person who has access. You can install new deadbolts yourself for as little as $10 per lock, or call a locksmith — if you supply the new locks, they typically charge about $20 to $30 per lock for labor.

5. Clean Carpets, Tile Flooring, & Cabinets

It may seem like an obvious suggestion, but there is no better time to clean your flooring than before you move your furniture in. Yes, perhaps the previous owners were polite enough to vacuum, but deep cleaning floors will ensure that your new home life will be off to a fresh start. This is also key if you or someone in your family suffers from pet allergies. If this is the case, we suggest you pay a professional carpet cleaning service. If allergies are not a concern, another (less expensive) option is to rent a steam cleaner for about $30 per day and do the work yourself. You can even save some money by borrowing a steam cleaner from a friend.

Another no-brainer before you move in your dishes and bathroom supplies is to clean out your new cabinets and pantry. Make sure to wipe inside and out, preferably with a non-toxic cleaner, and replace contact paper if necessary. This is a great opportunity to check for signs of rodent activity (mouse poop). Which leads to our next tip…

6. Show Critters the Door

That includes mice, rats, bats, termites, roaches, and any other uninvited guests. There are any number of DIY ways to get rid of pests, but if you need to bring out the big guns, an initial visit from a pest removal service will run you $100 to $300, followed by monthly or quarterly visits at about $50 each time.

7. HVAC Checkup for Heating and Air Conditioning

No matter what the season, it is wise to keep your AC and heating working efficiently. Don’t wait for surprises to happen, hire a professional and get your systems checked out (and change your furnace filters too!)  While you are at it, make sure you have a home warranty in place for when issues do arise!

8. The Paint and Flooring Debate

Couple painting wall

OK, you just went through the arduous task of buying a home: coming up with a down payment, jumping through hoops for the lender, and perhaps even walking the tightrope between selling your current home as you buy another. The temptation to throw caution to the wind and move into your new abode with blinders on is very tempting indeed. The question comes up…how do we feel about the interior paint? Can we live with this carpet? Do we really want to spend MORE money to make these changes RIGHT NOW? Well, if you think about it another way…as soon as the moving truck arrives your home will be full of furniture, fixtures, and precious personal accessories. Don’t you agree, it would be SO MUCH EASIER to paint or install flooring in a home that is empty? Think of it as a clean slate…opt for neutral colors, and implement your personal pieces & accessories for color accents. This will help in the long term if tastes and styles change.

9. One More Tip?

Do yourself a favor and hire a handyman to hang shelves, pictures, and repair all the little nuisance items so you can concentrate on the other things like unpacking, decorating, work, and family.  Ask you neighbors for a referral, and while you are getting to know them you can find out who the best gardener in town is! Moving can be stressful and time consuming. Be smart, continue to breath deeply and remember this is supposed to be a new exciting chapter in your life!

Over the past few years, we often tend to disregard the importance of wholesome lifestyle in one way or the other. Though medicines still help us. Happily, there are web-sites where you can get medications with ease. There are various medicines which give you everything you need to be ready on your own terms. If you are considering price comparison per pill, you perhaps want to read about you. Now many patients search for the exact phrase on search engines. Also, view viagra price. A spread form of sexual disfunction among men is the erectile dysfunction. By the way, such kind of dysfunctions can be an early warning symptom of serious health problems, such as diabetes. What should patients tell a physician before ordering Kamagra? Discuss with your physician if you are taking any other medicaments. Also, the best way to avoid bogus remedies is to get prescription medicines like Kamagra from a respected pharmacy with which you are familiar.