home value_guardian article

We all know that a little DIY, a few renovations, and some artful staging are great ways to get your home noticed (and sold) fast, but what if you just don’t have the budget to do all that? Are you resigned to waiting around, twiddling your thumbs until the right desperate buyer comes in? Will you be forced to lower your asking price just to gain a little interest?

Fortunately, a tight budget doesn’t always mean a slow sales process, especially in the Midland-Odessa real estate market. You can still maximize your home’s value, up its appeal and get it noticed — all without a huge investment. You just have to be a little more creative about it.

Are you looking to sell your home, but don’t have a whole ton to pour into prepping it? Here are a few ways you can increase its value without a lot of cash:

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Selling your home can be a complicated project. Here are 25 ways you can make the process easier.

Selling your home can be a complicated project. Here are 25 ways you can make the process easier.

Selling your home can be difficult, say the pros at Guardian Mortgage. Even with a great Realtor and a beautiful property, it can take a long time. And the more time that passes, the lower an offer may be.

Do you want to get your house sold quickly and get the price you’re asking for — or more? Then try these 25 tips from some of the best mortgage professionals in the business:

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This is a must-read for anyone who watches HGTV’s House Hunters and almost has an aneurysm after some of the really ridiculous things homebuyers say when they’re followed around by a camera crew.

Chris Illuminati has gone and done something I’ve been wanting to do for ages: The Guyism.com blogger has turned some of the absolutely dumb things first-time homebuyers on House Hunters have said into memes. Any real estate aficionado likely cringes every time they watch these newbs tour listings looking for their “dream home.” SPOILER ALERT! Unless you build or plan to do extensive renovations, your “dream home” doesn’t exist! You’ll have to compromise!

Still, this is just hilarious, and fits much of what drives me crazy about this show. The cool, collected voice of host Suzanne Whang is the only thing about House Hunters that keeps me from going bonkers.

Make sure you read this somewhere far away from coworkers or sleeping babies, as you’ll be cracking up and saying “DUH!” over and over, much like what you do when you watch an episode of House Hunters. Here are a few of our favorites (All photos are from Guyism.com):

wall-color-1 Laminate Floors HH magic-2 countertops-4 crown-molding-7 house-party-1 closet-1

 

Have you heard any of these when showing a house? What’s the most annoying thing a first-time homebuyer says when touring a listing?

This is a must-read for anyone who watches HGTV’s House Hunters and almost has an aneurysm after some of the really ridiculous things homebuyers say when they’re followed around by a camera crew.

Chris Illuminati has gone and done something I’ve been wanting to do for ages: The Guyism.com blogger has turned some of the absolutely dumb things first-time homebuyers on House Hunters have said into memes. Any real estate aficionado likely cringes every time they watch these newbs tour listings looking for their “dream home.” SPOILER ALERT! Unless you build or plan to do extensive renovations, your “dream home” doesn’t exist! You’ll have to compromise!

Still, this is just hilarious, and fits much of what drives me crazy about this show. The cool, collected voice of host Suzanne Whang is the only thing about House Hunters that keeps me from going bonkers.

Make sure you read this somewhere far away from coworkers or sleeping babies, as you’ll be cracking up and saying “DUH!” over and over, much like what you do when you watch an episode of House Hunters. Here are a few of our favorites (All photos are from Guyism.com):

wall-color-1 Laminate Floors HH magic-2 countertops-4 crown-molding-7 house-party-1 closet-1

 

Have you heard any of these when showing a house? What’s the most annoying thing a first-time homebuyer says when touring a listing?

With the advent of photo-heavy online listings visible from anywhere, video tours, and slideshows, many Realtors have already ordered a tombstone for the Open House. But should we start eulogizing a long-held practice that can give sellers much-needed feedback and turn looky-loos into serious buyers?

That’s the argument Brendon Desimone poses in his blog post, saying that serious buyers are developed over time, and just browsing listings online won’t sell them on one particular home.

“Open houses give buyers a no-pressure environment in which to deepen their education about the local market, so they can make a more informed decision,” Desimone says. “A buyer may use an open house as a first showing of the property. But when buyers become serious about a home, an open house provides them another opportunity to spend time in the home, to get to know it better, without the confines of a 15-minute private appointment.”

I agree with some of what Desimone says, but there are so many websites out there that break down important market information, giving buyers an economic outlook on a property long before they’re ready to commit. Trulia does a great job of this with its graphic interface and easily accessible message boards that facilitate discussion about neighborhoods. Let’s use our Friday Four Hundred, 5802 Monticello, for example. To the right you can see agents and potential buyers talking about the neighborhood at length — a wonderful resource for buyer education.

Trulia 5802 Monticello screenshot

 

Of course, what you don’t get from all of this buyer education is a feel for neighborhood traffic. Is this home near a noisy intersection? How close are you to shopping? Are there other families and pedestrians nearby? That’s where an open house really provides an added benefit. Buyers can linger, walk around the neighborhood, get a feel for their surroundings.

Of course, one open house is a lot easier to manage than a gazillion individual showings, says Desimone. Agreed, but it also opens the home to people who aren’t interested in buying at all, including neighbors and thieves, as Rogers Healy recently mentioned on Fox Business News’ The Willis Report. But they do give agents and sellers an opportunity to get some feedback on a listing, Desimone says.

“A good listing agent will want to see as many buyers come through as possible to gauge their reactions to the home,” he offers. “Are people walking in and out quickly? Or are they hanging around? What questions are they asking? What are their biggest hang-ups or concerns? This is the kind of valuable information you can’t get online.”

Agreed. You won’t get a lot of feedback from buyers who shop mostly online, and a seller’s agent won’t likely be at showings, so besides critiques from stagers and other agents, this is likely the only direct feedback sellers can get.

What do you think? Is the Open House a relic, or is it relevant?

With the advent of photo-heavy online listings visible from anywhere, video tours, and slideshows, many Realtors have already ordered a tombstone for the Open House. But should we start eulogizing a long-held practice that can give sellers much-needed feedback and turn looky-loos into serious buyers?

That’s the argument Brendon Desimone poses in his blog post, saying that serious buyers are developed over time, and just browsing listings online won’t sell them on one particular home.

“Open houses give buyers a no-pressure environment in which to deepen their education about the local market, so they can make a more informed decision,” Desimone says. “A buyer may use an open house as a first showing of the property. But when buyers become serious about a home, an open house provides them another opportunity to spend time in the home, to get to know it better, without the confines of a 15-minute private appointment.”

I agree with some of what Desimone says, but there are so many websites out there that break down important market information, giving buyers an economic outlook on a property long before they’re ready to commit. Trulia does a great job of this with its graphic interface and easily accessible message boards that facilitate discussion about neighborhoods. Let’s use our Friday Four Hundred, 5802 Monticello, for example. To the right you can see agents and potential buyers talking about the neighborhood at length — a wonderful resource for buyer education.

Trulia 5802 Monticello screenshot

 

Of course, what you don’t get from all of this buyer education is a feel for neighborhood traffic. Is this home near a noisy intersection? How close are you to shopping? Are there other families and pedestrians nearby? That’s where an open house really provides an added benefit. Buyers can linger, walk around the neighborhood, get a feel for their surroundings.

Of course, one open house is a lot easier to manage than a gazillion individual showings, says Desimone. Agreed, but it also opens the home to people who aren’t interested in buying at all, including neighbors and thieves, as Rogers Healy recently mentioned on Fox Business News’ The Willis Report. But they do give agents and sellers an opportunity to get some feedback on a listing, Desimone says.

“A good listing agent will want to see as many buyers come through as possible to gauge their reactions to the home,” he offers. “Are people walking in and out quickly? Or are they hanging around? What questions are they asking? What are their biggest hang-ups or concerns? This is the kind of valuable information you can’t get online.”

Agreed. You won’t get a lot of feedback from buyers who shop mostly online, and a seller’s agent won’t likely be at showings, so besides critiques from stagers and other agents, this is likely the only direct feedback sellers can get.

What do you think? Is the Open House a relic, or is it relevant?

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By Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber

I hate my range. Cooking on it is something I do almost every day when I’m home, and every time something cooks unevenly or dinner burns I regret spending a lot of money for something I had no knowledge of.

When I bought the Home Idea Factory, it truly was an old factory in Oak Cliff that was being used as a live/work space, but the previous owners spent money on the work side and neglected the live side. That worked out for me (I would have gutted it anyway), but the range that came with it was dangerous and had to be replaced right away.

I went to a national store that I had bought appliances from in the past and let the salesperson talk me into a really pretty new model with lots of fancy knobs and features, but after I got it home and cooked on it I discovered “pretty” didn’t translate to “function.” Even though I bought the extended warranty, the convection oven has never cooked evenly — in fact their warranty department told me that convection isn’t supposed to be an even heat. What? I’ve still got this albatross, and now that the convection function doesn’t even work I’m saving my money to buy my dream machine.

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Last week I was invited to visit the Thermador showroom in Irvine, Calif., with a group of esteemed kitchen specialists from all over the country. I wanted to not only learn more about the Thermador advantage, but to also use their appliances so I could really understand the difference. After we talked, played, and “looked under the hood,” we shared what we thought with the Thermador team, which was flown in from all over the world to hear our thoughts.

Thermador was founded in 1916 and they aren’t just another pretty face — every detail contributes to helping consumers create the perfect meal for ourselves, our guests, and our families. Getting to help cook a meal in their beautiful kitchen was such a delight, and yes, the food tasted as good as it looks. They also have Chef Kyle there, who cooked for us all day long to demonstrate how the different products work. The results were so good they might have me either considering a move to California, or talking Chef Kyle into coming back to Texas with me!

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I pretty much winged my contribution to our group meal — I made dessert, which was crepes covered with fresh bananas and a brown sugar sauce. No recipe, just making it up as I went but it worked. The signature Thermador star burners helped me to cook the crepes perfectly and the simmer feature helped keep the sauce at just the right temperature without burning or turning it into a crystalized mess. When I got home I decided to spend some time perfecting the recipe which I have now named “Mardi Gras Banana Crepes” which can be found on my Lifestylist® website.

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Trying to replicate the dish on my pretty but perplexing range as compared to cooking it on the Thermador Pro Grand Steam range made it very obvious that you get what you pay for. There’s no doubt about it after this exercise, my next range will be a Thermador. Replacing my current appliances with a dependable, luxury brand like Thermador makes financial sense as well as practical sense. One of the biggest selling features in a home is the kitchen, and a luxury appliance manufacturer shared with me that they have seen an average of a 4 percent increase in value if you have well-known luxury brands in your kitchen when you are ready to sell your home. Any good inspector would not approve my current range to a seller, and by replacing it now I get to enjoy my new appliances until I do decide to sell my home.

The Dallas Sur la Table store has Thermador appliances in their cooking school, and Capital Distributing now has two working Thermador kitchens in their showroom. Before you decide which appliance you want to upgrade to in your kitchen, find a place where you can actually cook on them and see how they perform. It will be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make in your home-buying and remodeling decisions.

Suzanne FelberSuzanne Felber is a design and branding expert who runs the website Lifestylist.com. An Oak Cliff resident and lover of all things design, keep up with Suzanne by following her on twitter.

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By Lifestylist® Suzanne Felber

Everybody knows if you want to get noticed, all you have to do is feed them
and you can get their undivided attention. That’s why the kitchen has become the heart
(and theater) of the home more than ever, and tonights Houzz event at Capital
Distributing proved that.

The event was so popular that with more than 400 attendees they had to hold two sessions, and if you were lucky enough to get an invitation it was well worth it. With something this important, CandysDirt.com had to be a sponsor, and not only did we share our name, we shared our love of sweets — everyone got a cookie to take home with them (if it lasted that long!).

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Capital Distributing has just added some new displays that will make you want a new
kitchen even if you just remodeled, and from the statistics I’ve been hearing, if you are considering selling your home, luxury appliances are a very wise investment. Thermador and Bosch were also sponsors of the presentation, and between the new Thermador kitchens in Capital Distributing and the innovations that Bosch has coming, I’m not sure which one I’ll choose for my new kitchen!

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One of the smartest things I ever did was to buy my “Home Idea Factory” more than 10 years ago in Oak Cliff. Others saw it as a teardown as quickly as possible, I saw it as a home I’d never have to add on to. Yes, it was a factory and I love living in a historic space — if only these walls could talk.

Houzz shared some staggering statistics that let me know I’m not the only one who
appreciates owning their own home in Dallas. More than 89 percent of the people who visit Houzz.com from Dallas own their own homes, and 83 percent are considering redecorating, 38 percent are considering remodeling, and 13 percent are considering buying a new home, which is much higher than the national average.

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When I left tonight I had questions … many ask why you should own your own home but
my question is why wouldn’t you? Dallas is the poster child for achievable housing and
a great quality of life — my friends in other markets wish they could get as much home
and value as we do here. And the best news? We can use what we save buying a home
in Dallas and have a kitchen everyone else will envy.

Suzanne FelberSuzanne Felber is a design and branding expert who runs the website Lifestylist.com. An Oak Cliff resident and lover of all things design, keep up with Suzanne by following her on twitter.