A Pre-Search Checklist for Home Buyers

The Denver real estate market is fast-paced and competitive, and it is important for buyers to be prepared to act quickly once their search begins. If you find a house you love, you won’t have a week (or even a few days!) to mull it over. You’ll need to act quickly if you are serious about the property.

House Hunt

Ask yourself these questions before you begin your search:

  1. How much of your pre-approved mortgage amount are you willing to spend?
  2. Can you afford home repairs/renovations? (This includes updating flooring or appliances, finishing a basement, replacing hot water heater, etc.)
  3. What suburb(s) or neighborhood(s) are you willing to consider?
  4. Do you need to be close to public transit or specific routes? (E470, I-25, etc.)
  5.  Does traffic noise matter to you?
  6. Is the school district important? (Research schools before your home search.)
  7. Ranch // Two Story // Townhouse // Condo?
  8. How many bedrooms?
  9. How many bathrooms?
  10. What do you require in a garage or parking situation?

A seller’s market requires buyers to be flexible, quick on their feet and ready to make timely decisions. Before you get in the car, you should have a clear idea of the answers to each of these questions. A prepared buyer who knows what they want (and don’t want) is a successful buyer. Maximize the potential of your home search by thinking through these details before you start your hunt to improve your odds in the game.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

5 Common Decorating Mistakes

If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, it pays to do a bit of home staging before your listing goes live. You can go all out and hire a pro, or you can make a few interior design changes on your own to prepare for a successful home sale.

Rearranging Furniture

The same interior design faux pas that plague the average homeowner are the best places to start when preparing your home’s decor for a sale. The good news is, these issues are easy (and generally inexpensive) to fix.

  1. Furniture pushed up against the walls. Think of your furniture as guests at a party: give each piece room to breathe, but make sure all the furniture is encouraged to mingle. Pull sofas a few inches away from the wall, or even further into the room. Bring chairs closer together and to the coffee table. Dressers, armoires and display cabinets often need to rest against a wall, but seating should center on a coffee table or rug and be arranged to encourage conversation. When everything hugs the wall, you are missing the point of seating groups.
  2. Dinky area rugs. Some interior designers prefer all four legs of a sofa or chair to be planted on a rug. A more relaxed approach is that the front legs on a sofa, loveseat or accent chair sit atop the rug. Most people make the mistake of buying rugs that are too small for the space. If the majority of the seating in a room is not able to sit at least partially on the rug, this is probably the case in your room. If you can’t afford a large enough rug to suit the space and furniture, consider cost effective sisal, having a large carpet remnant bound for the space or removing the rug altogether while your home is on the market.
  3. High water window treatments. Window treatments should break at the floor or even puddle a bit, depending on your personal preference, and they should rise three inches or more above the top of the window frame. Insubstantial window treatments that fall short or are hung exactly at the top of the window frame don’t look chic – they just come across as cheap. Chances are good you can pick up decent neutral draperies in an appropriate length at your local big box store or online. Imagine how great your rooms will look with fresh new (right-sized) curtains when showings begin!
  4. Matchy. Matchy. Matchy. It’s fine to coordinate drapes and accent pillows, or to purchase accent chairs in the same neutral fabric as your sofa. When absolutely everything came from the same two page catalog spread though, a room can feel boring and stale. If this is the case in your bedrooms or living spaces, it’s time to break up that set of linens, drapes, lamps, etc. to breathe fresh life into the space. Try trading the came-with-the-couch pillows for something a little bolder, or replacing one of a pair of lamps with something unique. Bring the chairs that match the couch into another space (maybe beside a bed?) and add two different accent chairs; even dining chairs can work for this purpose and give the space an eclectic feel. Even staged rooms should look and feel lived-in, not straight out of a catalog.
  5. Art hung at crick-neck levels. For whatever reason, most people tend to hang artwork, mirrors, photographs etc. too high, causing the viewer to crane their neck to look up at the picture. The center of the artwork from top to bottom should be at eye level, or 57-58″. If you are guilty of hanging artwork too high, this may feel unnaturally low to you, but it is the right height for hanging. You can measure the distance from the ground up to 58″, then measure the distance from the wire or sawtooth on your pictures from there, or you can eyeball it and aim for hanging any picture, or focal point of a grouping, around that point if you consider yourself average height. If your furniture is particularly low slung, you may even consider hanging your pieces 2-3″ lower to properly accent your seating.

Whether you are buying, selling or weighing your options, I have the experience to guide you successfully through your next real estate transaction. I’d love to hear from you!

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

 

Thoughtful Questions Buyers should Ask

Ask Good Questions

Buying a home is a big deal, and whether it’s your first time or your 14th, you’ll likely have loads of questions about a home you may purchase. What year was it built? What’s the square footage? How many bedrooms? Read on for outside-the-box questions you should ask about a house you want to buy.

  • What direction does the home face? When the snow flies and it’s time to dig yourself out, you’ll be glad you asked. To maximize the sun’s potential in helping you get the job done, buy a home facing east or south. If you shop for a home in winter, you’ll notice the yards facing north or west tend to stay covered in snow for days and days longer than those facing east or south.
  • Does the yard slope properly? A properly sloping yard will help you avoid home moisture issues and protect your home’s foundation. You can determine ground slope by walking around the exterior and determining visually whether the ground slopes away from the house for the first 5-10 feet immediately surrounding the house. Pay attention to the homes on each side of your potential purchase. Do surrounding yards slope toward your yard, causing potential moisture build up? If so, adequate ground slope is even more important.
  • What are noise levels like in the neighborhood? If you’re buying a house with plans to live in it long term, you’ll want to know if the semi-busy road nearby stays that way until midnight every evening. Are there noisy neighbors who whoop it up every Saturday night? Drive by the home a few evenings and on weekends at varying times to get a feel for the noise level.
  • What will your commute be like? Giving your potential new commute a try out may mean driving a few extra miles, but “going the extra mile” can help you make a major decision about buying the house. Some suburban commutes in Denver turn 15 miles into 50 minutes – or more. Do your research to make sure you’ll be happy with time spent on the road from your new neighborhood.
  • How do nearby schools rank? This question is important for any buyer, whether or not you have kids in school. Great schools in the area can help a house sell, and a home in a popular school district is often a wise investment.

If you’re thinking about real estate, you’ve probably got questions. I’ve been answering questions about Denver area real estate for over 21 years, and I’d be happy to help you find the answers you seek.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate

 

Feng shui 4 Your Home Sale

Feng shui

The Chinese philosophy of Feng shui (which translates to mean “wind-water”) is based on the notion that certain colors, elements and pathways within your home dictate the flow of energy and can impact everything from your personal wealth to your health, love life and career. Whether or not you follow the basic principles of Feng shui in the design or arrangement of your home, many aspects of this philosophy can positively impact your home listing and help increase your home’s appeal to buyers.

Energy enters through the front door. Make sure your entry is clean, clear of all clutter and attractive. Consider painting the front door a bright color that stands out from the house, place a fresh welcome mat in front of the door and place a few plants nearby to give a feeling of life and robust health. Plants with soft, rounded leaves are a better Feng shui bet than cacti or plants with sharp or spiky leaves.

First impressions matter. When buyers first enter your home, they form opinions quickly as to whether your home is worthy of purchase. Offer home shoppers a welcoming embrace with attractive art, an interesting area rug, adequate storage in the closet or elsewhere such as a storage bench or coat pegs. Pack up shoes, coats and sports gear not currently in use so the entry closet has plenty of extra space. If every nook and cranny in the house is stuffed to the gills, buyers will question whether your home has adequate storage space. Give your things room to breathe so buyers can breathe easily, too.

Don’t drain your home’s energy! One important principle of Feng shui is the notion that drains – in the kitchen, bathroom, toilet, bathtub, shower, etc. – can literally deplete a home of energy. Keep toilet lids down and drains plugged when not in use. If a half bath is near the entry of your home, close the door before showings. Buyers will open the door to take a peek as they tour your home, but you don’t want the W.C. to be the first room they encounter in your home.

Arrange seating to maximize “chi” energy flow. Chi, or the inherent energy flowing through and around a room, can be improved or stunted based on the arrangement of your furniture, according to Feng shui. Arrange your sofa and other furnishings toward the entrance of the room, and pull them into a comfortable arrangement encouraging conversation. Don’t put the back of a sofa toward the entrance, which bounces energy back out of the room and may give off a cold, unwelcoming feel.

Kick clutter to the curb for improved energy flow. Imagine clean kitchen counters free of knick knacks, tidy bedrooms with empty dresser-tops and walls with enough negative space to enjoy the artwork in place rather than family photos cluttering every inch of the wall. Decluttering makes sense when your home is on the market, and an abundance of clutter-free space within your home will improve the flow of energy throughout your spaces as well.

Don’t place beds or dressers in front of a window or blocking a doorway or natural pathway through the room. Don’t place beds against a wall with a door in it at all if you can avoid that. Doorways are intense energy pathways from one place to another, and placing the head of your bed near a doorway, or on a wall sharing a doorway, can prevent you from achieving the best rest possible and give buyers a restless feeling as they envision themselves in the master bedroom or their children or guests in other rooms.

Consider appealing to the buyer’s senses with calming background music, pleasant smelling fresh flowers or live plants, a small tabletop fountain or wind chimes placed on the front right corner of your home. You can find many specific tips for including Feng shui elements in your home on Pinterest or by searching Google or other sites for the topic.

If you are considering a home sale or purchase and need a guide in our busy marketplace, give me a call. I’ve been helping people like you buy and sell Denver area homes for over 21 years, and it would be my pleasure to put this experience to work for you.

Jack Meyers

The Meyers Group
jackestate@aol.com 
303.263.3050
Twitter: @jackestate