Increase the Value of Your Home on a Shoestring

You can add a wing to the manse to add value, but if you’re short on butlers (or bucks), there are minor improvements you can make to increase the value of your home. These tips are great for staging to sell, a spring home refresher, or any time minor  home improvements.

  • Purchase new shades for lamps, and do a bit of research on the right bulb for healthy + happy lighting in each particular room. Some spaces benefit from bright, cool light, some are better with warm pools of light. A lampshade switcharoo and the right bulb in lamps or overhead lighting can make a big difference.
  • Add sparkle to cabinets and cupboards with new hardware. Cabinet pulls and drawer pulls are the jewelry of your kitchen and bathroom cabinets and can upgrade the look of the room for just a few bucks.
  • Paint is one of the fastest, cheapest, easiest ways to add value to your home. If you’re planning to sell in the near future, go neutral. If you’re staying put for awhile, go as bold as you want!
  • Plant a tree, shrub or flower bed. Just as good? Trim overgrown bushes or invest a little time in your lawn.
  • Purchase a new kitchen faucet. You can modernize the look of the entire room with this small change.
  • Buy a new rug for your living room, dining room or master bedroom. Make sure you purchase the right size rug for your furniture layout and the space available.
  • Re-caulk sinks and tubs. This boosts the cleanliness factor and can make the room feel newer.

Need advice on which projects to tackle before you list your home, or which projects are the best long term investment? Give me a call – I’m happy to help.

Jack Meyers

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

Spring Lawn Care

Nothing says “I love my home” like a well kept lawn. 

hand lawn

Seasonal transitions mean it’s time to treat your lawn to a little something extra, and if you’d like to be the envy of your block and the pride of your HOA, now is the time to take care of business in your yard.

5 Tips on Caring for Spring Lawns: 

spring lawn

  1. Hold your horses! Don’t aerate until your lawn is mostly green; tackling this task too early can damage young grass shoots.
  2. Rake it like you mean it. Dead grass, leaves, and other detritus can put a choke-hold on your lawn, slowing new growth and preventing proper moisture absorption + evaporation. Give your yard a thorough combing, or hire a power raking pro.
  3. This is your lawn on ACID… Winter conditions can increase the pH level of your soil, making it too acidic for grass to thrive. Spend a few bucks for a soil testing kit to determine the acidity level in your yard, and if levels are high, spread a bit of lime to balance out the acid.
  4. Did you fertilize in the fall? If so, your grass is likely still happily processing the nutrients you applied at that time. If not, consider fertilizing now to prepare your lawn for the growth season.
  5. Pre-treat for weeds. This step is ideal for fall, which lets you prevent gnarly weeds before they happen. It’s not too late for a pre-emergent weed killer in the spring, but apply sparingly: you don’t want to harm tender young grass. Tackling weeds before they spread will mean fewer full grown weeds in summer.

Do you need a referral to a lawn care specialist or other home pro? I’ve been in the biz for 22+ years, and I’ve got a guy for just about every home-related task. Just ask!

Jack Meyers

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

How the Cinema Impacts Interior Design

Have you ever wondered what inspires the paint colors, sofa pillows, comforters, curtains and floor coverings available online and on store shelves for you to fill your home with? Trends come from all sorts of places, and one major source of inspiration is the content that comes out of Hollywood.

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La La Land, not-quite-winner of the 2017 Best Picture Oscar (the honor went to the film Moonlight, after a flub at the end of the awards ceremony), celebrates kaleidoscopic hues across the entire color spectrum: Pure sunshine yellow. Bold electric blue. Lipstick red. Brilliant kelly green. Even crisp, clean white. Here are a few ways to capitalize on the trends hitting Pinterest and store shelves near you after the success of this film.

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Update your toss pillows. Adding new accent pillows to your bed, sofa or chairs is an easy, affordable way to capitalize on changing trends. If your furniture is a neutral shade, you can add fabric accents in almost any shade. And if your eyes grow tired of pineapple yellow, you can always switch to something else later.

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Paint your front door a wow shade. Blues of every shade are having a moment in the spotlight, and a navy or super-saturated blue door can up the curb appeal ante and help your home stand out from the crowd. Crimson, sunflower, pumpkin and emerald green are other crayon box options to consider. This is a relatively easy weekend afternoon project with minimal cost.

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Bring in a colorful lamp. Ceramic lamps come in every color, and placing a colorful new gourd lamp atop a dresser or bookshelf breathes new life into a space. A matched pair is fun, but a single lamp will get the job done.

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Pick out a jazzy set of dishes. For a few bucks you can pick up dishwasher safe (and super kid friendly!) melamine plates in all kinds of fun patterns and colors. Why not go mix-n-match with a different plate in the same colorway for every member of the family, or striped plates and polka dot bowls in splashy colors?

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Switch out your bedding to something that’s…less of a snooze! Cobalt, persimmon, yellow + navy, kelly green + black & white. If your bedspread, sheets, drapes and accessories are matchy-matchy beige, it’s time for an upgrade!

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Paint something you already own a kicky color. A picture frame, mirror, vase or other object or a piece of furniture, like a side table, can be painted in a few minutes for a couple of bucks with a can of bright spray paint. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and think twice if the item is highly valuable or a treasured family heirloom, but if it’s not a fabulous antique, douse it in paint and celebrate the transformation!

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Are you considering buying, selling or investing in Denver-area Real Estate? From paint colors that help your listing sell, to finding a professional to service your furnace, to which suburb has the best deals in the HOT Denver housing market – I’m here to help.

Jack Meyers

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

How Color Can Help (or Hurt) Your Sale

You don’t have to paint yourself into a bland corner or build a beige box to appeal to potential buyers, but there are good, better and best choices to make in paint colors, decor and accessories when preparing your home for sale. Read on for tips on revising the colors in your home to appeal to the most buyers, and choices to avoid if you’re planning a sale in the next 18-24 months.

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In a Better Homes and Gardens survey, 58% of those polled listed orange, black and violet as the colors they’d be least likely to decorate with, in that order. One of the biggest fears shared by future homeowners is they’ll grow sick of the colors in their home. Cracking open a can of paint to try a new wall color may be easy for you (or not), but for some people, picking out a new shade, taping off and painting walls, trim and ceilings can be overwhelming. For some buyers, the move-in ready home they seek is a home that won’t require painting projects.

The BHG poll listed the living room, kitchen and bathroom as the most desirable spaces to feature color, with a preference for neutral, less saturated color in the foyer, dining room and master bedroom. If you’re going to leave a slightly “riskier” color in place when you list your home, pops of color in public spaces are safer bets; consider neutralizing high impact colors in the master bedroom or your home’s entryway. Even if your mantra is “nope to taupe,” you may want to choose a friendly shade of neutral beige, with pleasant accent colors or patterns, for your on-the-market bedroom.

Accent colors, rather than maximum color use on walls and in furniture, will please the most buyers. A heather gray sofa with pale gray walls can handle funky orange pillows, if that’s your speed. Buyers will be able to envision their own furniture in a neutral space like this, because even the least imaginative shoppers know your pillows will go when you do. Pumpkin orange walls though…that’s a tough sell for the majority of shoppers, and if they’re not willing to pick up a paint brush, they may cross your home off the list.

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The survey revealed favorite colors (in order) are blue, green and neutral. Consider packing up your more colorful decor and weaving blue or green accents throughout your home for a cohesive design that will appeal to the most buyers. This can be done through pillows, picture frames, towels, dishware, area rugs and bedding. If your walls are already a neutral shade, adding accessories in the same color family will help your home feel like a show home rather than a disarray of mis-matchy-ness – a winning strategy for any listing.

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One place to consider a bolder color choice is the front door. Check with your HOA for a list of approved paint color options and consider a classic red, hunter green or ochre (a deep yellow) as an accent shade on your door. A tasteful statement color on your front door (and a brand new door mat) can add to your home’s curb appeal for minimal investment, and enchant buyers from the moment they park the car.

The key to successful on-the-market interior design is to tone down any bold personal choices to make room for your buyer’s style. If your dream sofa is hot pink velvet with black and white striped pillows against a funky accent wall, go for it! In your next house. Take yourself out of the picture so buyers can picture life in “their” home, and you’ll help your sale happen in a timely fashion and for top dollar. At the end of the day, the color you’ll love most when your home sells is green; help your home’s top dollar potential by toning down bold colors and setting the stage for a successful sale.

Jack Meyers

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

Itty Bitty Houses

An RV park in Loveland is launching Phase 1 of what it hopes will be a successful tiny house movement within the community, and this is a trend that has captured the imagination of many Colorado residents.

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It is hard to deny the whimsical charm of these miniature abodes; tiny home builders consider every detail, working storage and convenience into closet-sized spaces. Like a gypsy wagon, many tiny homes can be hitched to a vehicle and roll right on out of town – although they can also be laid on a tiny foundation with demure landscaping put in place to make home-sweet-tiny-home a more permanent location.

Some tiny home owners are drawn to the idea of “living large” thanks to a smaller house payment, or the ability to pay off a smaller loan on a tiny home in a shorter period of time than a traditional 30 year mortgage. Some look to tiny homes as ideal guest houses, or second homes in another state or in the mountains – a bit like a modern day RV, but with the solid feel of real architecture. Others like the idea of customizing a home – minus the lofty price tag of a custom built traditional home.

Living small – really small – is an interesting proposition. It’s definitely not for everyone; Census Bureau data puts the size of newly constructed single family homes at 2,467 square feet on average, while a typical tiny home clocks in at 120 square feet, with tiny mansions maxing out at 500 square feet.

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A few things to consider if you’re thinking small:

  • Where will you park it? Do you have a large yard? Can you rent space or buy a plot of land?
  • How will you insure your tiny home? This will take a bit of research on your part, as insurability and costs depend on size, mobility, location, etc.
  • What features do you want and need in a tiny home?
  • What is your tiny home budget?
  • What if it turns out you are a bit claustrophobic, after all? What is the resale value of tiny homes, and how will this affect you financially?

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Have you or anyone you know been bitten by the tiny house bug? Tell me about it – share a picture if you’ve got one. Let me know what your journey to tiny home ownership was like.

Jack Meyers

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

How Long Does That Last?

How Long Does That Last: Home Edition

Most home buyers purchase a property intending to live there for awhile. Ideally, the accessories that keep life in our homes running smoothly will last, too. But nothing lasts forever, and the major systems and appliances we use every day (and sometimes take for granted) – will eventually wear out.

Read on for a guide to how long you can expect most of the systems in your home to last, and what you can expect to pay for replacement.

Microwave. This small appliance sees a lot of use in most homes, and not surprisingly it’s one of the first to go. A quality microwave will last 9 years on average, and a professional model will run in the $300 neighborhood, depending on functions, features, mounting and whether your kitchen features a built-in microwave/ventilation system.

Dishwasher. Washing dishes by hand is so 1965! Chances are good you could work a kitchen sponge and a bottle of dish soap every day if you had to, but busy lives demand conveniences like dishwashers. You can expect yours to last about 9 years and cost $568 on average to replace.

Electrical. Internal wiring, lighting, outlets – these things are easy to ignore, but over the course of 10 years on average, the electrical system in your home will begin to show its age. Average upgrade/replacement cost around that time is between $1300-1400.

Garage Door Opener. Your garage door itself may require minor repairs from time to time, but the garage door opener should last 10-15 years. At that point, replacement costs $319 on average.

Toilet. Your loo should provide excellent service for about 10 years, at which point you’ll shell out $350 bucks or so for a new model.

Water Heater. A traditional tank system water heater will wear out after 10-15 years. A new one will set you back close to $900. Tankless water heaters cost $1500 + on average and last about 20 years, but with 30% of a home’s energy bills spent warming the water in your traditional tank system, the initial investment may pay off over time.

Garbage Disposal. With normal use, your garbage disposal will last about 12 years. A replacement costs $400. These tips will help you keep your disposal ship shape for as long as possible.

repair

Oven. The heart of your kitchen, you can expect your oven to bake your cookies, cakes, lasagnas and meat loaf to perfection for 13-15 years. Average replacement cost is $1000, but if you have caviar and champagne tastes, you can certainly spend more.

Washer & Dryer. A new set will last 10-13 years. Replacement for a pair, top or front load washer, averages $1000.

Fridge. There are several simple ways to extend the life of your refrigerator. Without extenuating measures, the average fridge will last 13 years. Replacement cost is $1500.

Air Conditioner. 10-15 years is a typical lifespan for an air conditioning unit; replacing this system will cost between $5,000-5,500. If your central air goes out and your are short of funds, consider these alternatives.

Furnace. Surprisingly, the average furnace lasts longer and costs significantly less to replace than the air conditioning system. Modern furnaces live 15-20 years and replacing this system will cost an average of $3880.

Roof. The average roof will last 20-30 years, a figure largely impacted by the region in which you live, which determines factors like weather and pests. Replacement costs hover around an average of $6,600 and change nationally. If you live in an area known for termites or challenging weather, periodic inspections by a qualified roofing pro can help you head off costlier issues at the pass.

Pipes. The record for system in your home most likely to outlive all the rest is, of course, pipes. With an impressive lifespan of 75-100 years, the pipes in the floor, ceilings and walls of your home will likely last a very long time – especially if your home was constructed in the last 10-20 years. Replacement cost averages $1,193 nationally.

Whether you are wondering which items to service or repair in advance of selling your home, considering investing in upgrades or you need a qualified professional in your neck of the woods, drop me a line. I’m here to advise in any way I can, and with many years in Denver real estate, chances are I know someone in the right line of work to assist on your next home project.

Jack Meyers

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

A Gratitude Checklist for Homeowners

Happy Thanksgiving week! 

Although I feel an ongoing sense of gratitude for my beautiful wife and children, my friends, my health and the ability to do wake up and do work I enjoy – this time of year I always feel a tug to say it out loud: Thank you!

You may be a little annoyed about the peeling paint on your back deck; maybe your garbage disposal is on the fritz, your drapes are “so last season,” or you missed out on the very best interest rate on your home loan because your credit had a few too many dings. I hear you – I’ve dealt with most of the same minor housing annoyances you have. And yet – we have so many things to be grateful for in terms of the roof over our heads… Read on for a checklist of home ownership blessings worth being grateful for.

A Gratitude Checklist for Homeowners

  1. Clean running water. According to the United Nations 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation. Makes that long hot shower feel even better, doesn’t it? (water.org can help you do something about this, if you are so inclined.)
  2. Electricity. Typetty-type-type. This post comes to you courtesy of electricity, a laptop computer and wireless internet. Just 30% of the world’s population enjoys electricity. Think refrigeration, microwaves, most forms of media…
  3. F00d. A fierce familial debate over the relative merits of boiled versus crockpot mashed potatoes… let’s just admit most of this nation is doing pretty well on Thanksgiving Day and beyond in terms of the variety and availability of healthy foods – or any kind of food we want. 12.9% of the world’s population faces food insecurity according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
  4. HVAC. If the local watering hole threatens your health, you lack electricity and you are downright hungry, chances are good temperature regulation is a low priority. Colorado winters are a funny thing, and some temperature sensitive folks I know have been known to blast the heat one day and run the AC the next when one of our trademark snowstorm-followed-by-summer-temps hits town. We enjoy comfort at the flip of a switch, and I try not to take this for granted.
  5. Shelter. The United Nations’ last global survey on homelessness (in 2005) determined there were 100 million homeless people worldwide, with the number of individuals facing “inadequate housing” reaching as high as 1.6 billion; these numbers are difficult to track. For example, is a ‘house’ made out of detritus and located in a slum adequate shelter? Should individuals temporarily able to find shelter on someone else’s couch be considered ‘adequately housed’?  Tough questions, and this information makes it so easy to be grateful for the roof over our heads – be it a suburban McMansion, a diminutive condo or something in between.

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So. Gratitude. And I share this information not to tie you up in knots of guilt – but because it lends perspective to the minor annoyances in our daily lives and reminds us to be grateful for the good things we are blessed with every day. And if some of these global factoids inspire you to write a check for the greater good, volunteer for a cause you care about or drop a couple of bucks in a Salvation Army kettle on the way into Target – that’s okay, too.

Happy Thanksgiving, and I hope yours will be spent with the ones you love.

Jack Meyers

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