8 cost effective fixes for home sellers, to help make your home more appealing to buyers and increase your potential sales price!
1. Remove popcorn ceiling – it is not visually appealing to buyers, and if your home was built prior to 1978, it may actually contain asbestos. Remove the popcorn and repaint the ceilings2. Repaint the interior of your home – Remove any wallpaper, choose a neutral paint color, and repaint throughout the interior of your home. Will immediately give your home a fresh look and feel
3. Change or add hardware to all the cabinet and drawer handles throughout your home, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms. Choose one finish color, such as bronze, copper, or silver, so all the hardware cohesively matches in color throughout all the rooms. This will give your home an updated, modern touch. You can also change all of the doorknobs and towel racks to match as well.
4. If your kitchen cabinets are outdated, you may not need to replace them. You can refinish or repaint them to give them a fresh and updated look (and don’t forget to add new hardware!)
5. Lighting – consider changing the light fixtures in the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways to new, modern fixtures. You can also consider installing recessed lighting and adding a dimmer switch. And of course, install new, high-wattage LED light bulbs, to make sure your home is nice and bright for buyer showings
6. Consider installing new appliances – consider a new refrigerator, built in microwave, oven and/or stove. It is not required for sellers to include appliances with the sale of their home, however it can be a great plus for buyers if your home has brand new appliances
7. Keep your house clean and smelling great while in the process of selling. Remove old rugs and draperies, professionally clean your carpets, clean windows, and other mirrored surfaces throughout your home
8. Declutter and depersonalize your home – open up the space on your counter tops by removing kitchen gadgets, remove hygiene products from bath counters, and try to remove at least half of the clothes in your closets, giving buyers a sense of ample space and storage in your home
Fixing and updating your home for sale doesn’t have to be intimidating or overly expensive. We can work with your budget to create a list of fixes for your particular home, to make sure it is ultra appealing to buyers and emphasizes the uniqueness of what your home has to offer. Reach out to me and let’s create a plan for your home sale today!
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753
Save energy and money with these 10 tips for energy efficiency in your home!
1. Change the light bulbs throughout your home to new LED light bulbs. This easy swap can reduce energy use anywhere from a third to as much as 80% as opposed to non LED light bulbs.
2. Clean or change air filters regularly. A dirty furnace or A/C filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep your home warm or cool.
3. Reduce water heater temperature to about 130° F to save energy
and money on heating water. You can also wrap your water heater in a specially-designed “blanket” to retain the heat.
4. Install a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule.
5. Upgrade your appliances including dishwasher, refrigerator, or washer & dryer to newer energy-efficient models.
6. Sealing cracks, gaps, leaks, and adding insulation can save up to 10% on home heating and cooling costs.
7. Use the air dry setting on your dishwasher rather than the heated dry setting.
8. If your home has single-pane windows, consider replacing them with more energy efficient dual-paned windows, or adding solar shades or tinting film to help keep your home warm in the winter time, and cool in the summertime.
9. Set your refrigerator temperature to the manufacturer’s recommendation to avoid excessive cooling and wasting energy.
10. Turn off the lights when they’re not in use or when you leave the home. Lighting accounts for about 12% of a typical residential utility bill.
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753
Calling all dog parents! A list of some of the top rated restaurants and bars throughout the Bay Area where Fido can come too.
American, Burgers, Comfort Food
Sports bar, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Brunch
Artisan Cafe, Breakfast, Brunch
Brewery, American, Pizza
Breakfast & Brunch
German, Bar, Modern European
American, Burgers, Comfort Food
German, Beer Garden, Dinner
Breakfast, Brunch, Mimosas
Banh Cuon Saigon, East San Jose, YELP
Seafood, Japanese, Asian Fusion
Poke, Sushi Bars, Japanese Curry
Breakfast & Brunch, French
Seafood, Bar, Sandwiches
American, Brunch, Dinner
Caribbean, Hawaiian, Brunch, Dinner, Cocktails
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753
Who doesn’t love free! Take advantage of free admission days offered by museums across the Bay Area.
Asian Art Museum – FREE first Sundays
The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco – Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is uniquely positioned to lead a diverse, global audience in discovering the distinctive materials, aesthetics and intellectual achievements of Asian art and cultures, and to serve as a bridge of understanding between Asia and the United States and among the diverse cultures of Asia.
Legion of Honor – FREE first Tuesdays for all & FREE every Saturday for SF residents (starting April 6, 2019)
Built to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I, the Legion of Honor is a beautiful Beaux-arts building located in San Francisco’s Lincoln Park. Overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Bridge and all of San Francisco, the Legion is most noted for its breathtaking setting. Its collections include Rodin’s Thinker, which sits in the museum’s Court of Honor, European decorative arts and paintings, Ancient art, and one of the largest collections of prints and drawings in the country.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) – FREE first Tuesdays
YBCA is one of the Bay Area’s premier venues for adventurous art. A multidisciplinary art center, the YBCA features exhibitions, performance, film/video, and community engagement programs, along with rotating art exhibits with a focus on contemporary and emerging art from the Bay Area and beyond.
De Young Museum – FREE first Tuesdays for all & FREE every Saturday for SF residents (starting April 6, 2019)
Founded in 1895 in Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum is a landmark art museum that showcases the museum’s priceless collections of American art from the 17th through the 20th centuries, and art of the native Americas, Africa, and the Pacific.
Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) – FREE third Thursday Evenings 5-8pm
MoAD, a contemporary art museum, celebrates Black cultures, ignites challenging conversations, and inspires learning through the global lens of the African Diaspora.
Exploratorium – FREE Community Days – Thursday March 14, 2019 & Sunday May 12, 2019
The Exploratorium is a twenty-first-century learning laboratory, an eye-opening, always-changing, playful place to explore and tinker featuring hundreds of science, art, and human perception exhibits.
Contemporary Jewish Museum – FREE first Tuesdays
The Contemporary Jewish Museum engages audiences of all backgrounds through dynamic exhibitions and programs that explore contemporary perspectives on Jewish culture, history, art, and ideas. And the architecture of the Museum itself is a work of art.
Berkeley Art Museum (BAMPFA) – FREE first Thursdays
BAMPFA, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, is the visual arts center of the University of California, Berkeley. Their mission is to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.
Oakland Museum of California – $5 suggested donation for first Sundays
As the only museum to focus entirely on the art and history of California, the diverse collections on display in the 300,000 square foot building present the art and tell the history of California from many angles. The museum invites visitors to experience the history of California through interacting with art, becoming art, and rewriting history.
Chabot Space and Science Center – Reduced $5 admission after 6pm on first Fridays
Chabot features a 241-seat full dome planetarium, interactive and hands-on exhibits, space artifacts, a giant screen theater, a Challenger Learning Center, and the only research-level telescopes regularly available to the public for weekly live viewing in the Western United States.
San Jose Museum of Modern Art – FREE Community Days: SJMA offers three free lively community days each year: El Día de los Muertos (October or November), Lunar New Year (February), and Maker Day (June). SJMA also offers free admission on International Museum Day (May 18). Check their calendar of events for specific upcoming dates.
SJMA is a leading showcase in the Bay Area for modern and contemporary art. The Museum has earned a reputation for its fresh, distinctive exhibitions, addressing major trends in international contemporary art, architecture, and design, with an ongoing commitment to also place the work of California artists in national and international context.
San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles – First Fridays: Pay what you can 11am – 4pm, and FREE 7pm – 10pm
The Museum is the nexus for fiber artists, art lovers, collectors, quilters, and crafters who share a passion for fiber art and a deep commitment to its preservation and evolution.
Bay Area Discovery Museum – FREE first Wednesdays
Children’s museum with 7.5 acres of indoor and outdoor space. Engage children with fun and creative activities and exhibits that encourage them to use problem-solving and thinking skills
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History – FREE first Fridays
Connect with nature at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History, a place for learning, exploration and building community located in a beautiful building right on the beach in Santa Cruz. Permanent exhibits include wildlife and habitat displays, artifacts and cultural exhibits of the Ohlone, a garden learning center, plus exhibits on the geology of Santa Cruz, and Monterey Bay marine life.
And if you’re a Bank of America card holder….
Enjoy free admission to participating museums on the first full weekend of every month! Including select museums in the Bay Area and surrounding cities: San Francisco, San Jose, Mountain View, Oakland, Sacramento and Monterey. Full list HERE.
Please note that holidays can affect opening days, so please check with the museums first before attending.
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753
Inspections are a critical part of a transaction whether you are a buyer or a seller.
As a seller, it is beneficial for you to complete inspections before you place your home on the market. It’s a good idea to know the condition of your home, so you can have a realistic idea of the work that the buyer will need to take on. And in some cases, there may be some fixes that you can do to take the burden off of buyers, making your home more attractive to a wider range of potential buyers. Some buyers may not have the funds to do necessary renovations and fixes after paying closing costs for the home purchase, or may simply not want the headache. Some buyers are investors and may be looking for a potential “flip” property, but this is a smaller sector of the market and majority of buyers looking to purchase as a primary residence.
As a buyer, if the seller has not already completed inspections on a home that you are interested in, it is your right to be able to perform inspections (whether the seller will make any fixes is another story – more info in my upcoming “Contingencies” blog post).
Here are some of the most common inspections performed:
1) Property Inspection – this inspection is the most thorough of them all, hence the reason for the generalized “Property Inspection” or “Home Inspection” name. A property inspector will inspect things such as plumbing, electrical, appliances, water heater, HVAC, check for leaks, functionality of windows, mechanical garage door, cracks in cement, and list of other items.
2) Termite Inspection – A termite inspector will look for both subterranean termites (these termites build their nests underground) and dry wood termites (these termites do not need soil moisture – they infest dry wood such as siding, eaves, cornices, and walls). Depending on the type of termite and severity of the infestation, the inspector will recommend tenting of the entire structure, spot treatment for a localized area, or other treatment. A termite inspector will also look for evidence of mold or fungus, because the same moisture sources that cause fungal wood decay can encourage termite infestation.
3) Roof Inspection – Roof inspectors will inspect the condition and functionality of the roof structure, eaves, and gutters. If you know the roof has been replaced fairly recently, say within the past couple years, you may elect to not do an inspection. In most cases, the property inspector will take a basic look at the roof and let you know the general condition. They may report back that the roof has say 15-20+ years worth of life left, or they may recommend a full roof inspection to be done. So depending on your knowledge of how old the roof is (usually you can find this out from the current owner), and what the general property inspector reports back, you can decide whether you want to perform a roof inspection.
You may elect to perform other more specialized inspections depending on the subject property. Here are some examples:
Foundation inspection: If the subject property falls into any of these circumstances you may want to consider a foundation inspection: A) if the house is 50+ years in age, B) if you visually see or feel some sloping or uneven flooring when walking through the home, C) if the house is on a sloped hill or within very close proximity to a body of water, or D) if the property inspector notices a defect that may have been caused by a failing foundation, and recommends a specialized foundation inspection to be done.
Chimney Inspection: If the home has a fireplace, you may want to consider a chimney inspection. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) developed 3 levels of chimney inspections. It is important to check chimney liners for maintenance and creosote build up. Over time, creosote, which is highly flammable, coasts the chimney flue and, if ignited, can create a chimney fire. Chimney fires burn at very high temperatures and may spread to the rest of the house.
Pool inspection: If the subject home has a pool, you’ll want to have a pool inspector check out the many components that help the pool function. These consist of the interior finish, the pump, the filter, the heater (if applicable), diving board, and of course making sure the pool complies with local safety regulations.
These are just a few among the many inspections that may be appropriate for your subject home, depending on its age, location, amenities, and current condition. Costs of these inspections can vary depending on your local market.
Please contact me for any questions! I can recommend qualified and reputable local inspectors, help analyze the report findings, and assist with obtaining quotes for work that may need to be done.
REALTOR ®, BRE #01950753