Updating your home? Consider Re-purposing items for a One of a Kind Find

Some of the items I love to use are old bricks, pieces of leather and steel, tools and such from days gone by that can be re-purposed into lighting, artwork, hangers, welcome signs, even furniture! If you think this sounds fun, consider a small start. My first piece was an old dresser that I refinished and made look like new. It might be grabbing an old shovel to add to your garden. Open your eyes to other uses of items that some have long since forgotten about and now they can become your favorite item that everyone likes to ask about when they visit.

I would love to hear some of your favorite items for the home or garden.

Moving Truck Tips

TruckYou finally found that perfect place to call home.  It was no easy task and frankly stressed you out getting from beginning to end, but today is the day – moving day!

Before the truck arrives you need to plan and prepare for the move.  The following is  list of tips that should make your move a successful one.

1.  Name someone the Truck Supervisor.  Fitting your whole house into one truck means space is tight.  In order to utilize each small space it is a good idea to have someone plan out where and how everything will go in the truck.  Once you have a plan call a quick meeting to share the general plan and then be very available as the moving begins.

2.  Have a plan.  How big is that couch?  Can the mirrors travel between the mattresses?  Do we have plenty of blankets and sheets to keep furniture from rubbing against each other?  Do you have boxes all pre loaded and labeled?  Are there enough volunteers on hand to make the job doable in one day?

3.  Have you ever played that game where you have to fit the different shaped boxes into each row so that each little space is filled?  Loading the truck will be much like playing this game.  You will want to fill all spaces with something.  In fact your Truck Supervisor will be a huge asset at this time to make sure space is used wisely.

4.  Tying down the load is important.  Remember that as you fill it will become tougher to get into the depth of the truck.  Heavy items should be toward the bottom and try to fill all space so things cannot shift as you drive.  Plan for the roughest trip so that your belongings will make it to your new home still in one piece.

While moving can be a stressful time, it can also be one of the most exciting times for families.  With a game plan for a successful move you will find it isn’t so bad and that soon you can put your feet up at your new home.

Housing is Rebounding – Multiple Offers Attest!

The market continues to improve.  I don’t need data to know this.  The last month’s offers have left me with only one offer that was not part of a multiple offer deal.  Listing agents have reported back to me on a few of these and stated that we were one of 8 other offers on the same property.

People are buying and what they have to select from is limited and when a nice one comes around, it is likely gone before the day is out unless they are holding out for the best offer via multiple offers.

As a buyer you will find you will make an offer only to have your agent get back to you asking for your highest and best.  They need this as you are part of a multiple offer deal and the seller wants to make the most money and the buyer has to decide just how much they really want the property.  Often times someone else has a bit more money to spend, has a good qualification letter or is totally preapproved.

When you are ready to buy a home I highly suggest being pre approved and keep this letter updated so that it is always a good letter.  Once you have your letter in hand you are ready to talk to your licensed real estate expert.  We will help you to find the home that fits your budget and location criteria.  Choose an agent who will ask what you need and then will listen and show you what you really wish to see.  Use free MLS search sites like mine  🙂 to search on your own and then go see it for yourself.

Are you ready to make that move?  Let’s talk!

Kim Woehl is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty.  She is looking forward to working with you whether you are buying or selling your home.

Call now!  651-214-1459

Investing in a Rental Home – Consider this.

Looking to invest in real estate?  Contact Kim Woehl - Keller Williams Premier Realty  651-214-1459

Looking to invest in real estate? Contact Kim Woehl – Keller Williams Premier Realty 651-214-1459

We buy a home hoping that it will increase in value.  We watched for years as homes made a steady upward climb.  It began to seem almost impossible that this steady progression would stop, but it did.

Just like any investment we don’t have a lot of control over what ultimately happens when it comes to the market.  This said, we do have control over where to buy, how much to spend and how much to improve the property.

Consider for a moment that you purchase a home with the idea that it will never appreciate.  Even if the price of the home never goes up, you still are collecting monthly rental income while you pay down the mortgage.  You can also increase the property value by making updates that will bring value to the home.  How much can you afford to lose.  Before buying is the time to decide how much risk you can take and if investing is right for you.

 

Thinking Spring!

Kim Woehl is an agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty 651-214-1459

Kim Woehl is an agent with Keller Williams Premier Realty 651-214-1459

Yes, I am.  With more cold weather headed this way, I am thinking of ways to bring spring around.

Bathrooms – Add some new bright colored towels and change out that accent piece for something for the warmer weather.

Bedroom – Change the current bedding for a whole new look.  You will be amazed at how you feel when you walk into the room.  I also don’t know anyone who doesn’t like to crawl into those crisp clean sheets!  Add a few toss pillows for an inviting look.

Kitchen – Consider adding a new splash of color via towels, or a some new accents.  One of my favorites is to bring in a bouquet of live flowers.

Living and Family – Gotta have some seasonal toss pillows and take a look at the walls.  You would be amazed what happens when you change out some of the wall art seasonally.

If I take a moment or two today and find these items I will be ready to bring spring on full force when the time arrives.

Stay warm everyone and enjoy shopping those warm malls while you wait as patiently as possible for spring to arrive.

Do we Need a New Light Bulb?

lightbulbI have been an environmentalist for a long time. I do my best to be green.  I recycle religiously.  I cringe when I see wasteful persons and yes, I might be that person you have seen taking a recyclable item back out of the trash.

I make sure never to allow fertilizers to leave the lawn and when needed am careful about its application and run off potential.  We mow into the lawn, not onto the street.  Well, you get the picture.

I have slowly filled the house with flourescent bulbs only to find that in general we don’t like them.  They are slow to brighten, sometimes are too white, or have a fake yellow hue.   The biggest bummer is that sometimes they do not last nearly as long as the packaging had claimed.  Did you know these are hazardous and cannot be tossed into the trash when done?  They need to be recycled in a safe way.

All this said, I just am unclear how I feel about these new LED lightbulb‘s that have come out.  They are supposed to last 25 years!  That’s a long time.  They also have a rather large price tag at about $25.00 a piece.  I just bought a 4 pack of regular old 40 watt bulbs for a buck at Christmas time so its going to be a bit of a tough sell to give these a try when the budget has so many other options to be spent.  On the upside these new bulbs promise to ony cost $1.63 a day when used 3 hours per day over the 25 year stand.

Where do you sit on the great light bulb debate.  Will you be giving the LED a try, sticking with flourescents or crying over the soon to be lost low cost incandescent?

Gas Fireplaces, Kids, Ouch!

As a parent I have long been worried about the hot fireplace gas when

Fireplace safety tips

Fireplace safety tips

the fireplace is on.  They make guards but few use these as they take away from the enjoyment of watching the rolling fire.

As a caregiver I have chosen to not use the fireplace when children are present.  This pretty much ensures the safety of everyone.  Its the law to make sure that no harm comes to children.  This being said, homeowners are sometimes very unaware of just how hot the glass becomes.

New laws are being created and will take place in January of 2015 that will put a screen, gate, or protective panel barrier in front of all new fireplaces.  This leaves the eleven million households with older fireplaces as a risk for burns.  Caution must be used to make sure that the screens or other protective devise is approved for your particular fireplace or you may still have a risk of burns or a fireplace that no longer operates as it was intended.

Will these new features still cause a burn?  They may if a hand is placed upon the barrier for any period of time.   The bottom line is that as a parent or a family with young house guests that you make sure to remind and supervise all little persons who would be curious about the fireplace.

Some extra tips to ensure safety might be to:

– read the owners manual or check with a licensed dealer to make sure your fireplace is safe

– Check the surrounding frames and such on the fireplace, these too can be burn hazards

– ALWAYS supervise children, the elderly and pets while using your fireplace and remember that it takes a good while before these are cool to the touch.

– Make sure remotes or switches are out of children’s reach

– Consider adding a lock over switches that are in children’s reach

– Remind all guests that fireplace glass and surrounds can be hot enough to burn

– Lastly – have your fireplace serviced regularly to ensure it is operating properly and to ensure that no new laws have made it a dangerous item in your home.

Finding Your New Home

door lock

Call me! I am your local real estate expert! 651-214-1459

You are looking for a new home, there are homes for sale so why can it be so hard to find the right one?  Searching for a new home can be frustrating, time consuming and confusing if you don’t know where to begin your search.

I strongly suggest beginning with a list of wants as well as a list of what you definitely do not want.  Its important to know that you won’t likely find a home that matches your entire wish list.  Some times you may not even know what you are looking for and that is okay.  Your agent can help you decipher what it is that you are looking for.  The first place I always recommend that how buyers visit is a local mortgage company to see what they qualify for and to get a pre-qualification letter.  We use this letter later on to attach to all offers and this one piece of paper will often set you ahead of the next guy especially if they have not pre-qualified.  With today’s market we are seeing lots of multiple offers so anything that can put you ahead of the other buyer is a good thing.

With your letter in hand, it is now a good time to sit down with your real estate agent to discuss what you are looking for.  Will it be a town home, single family home, lake home or anything else.  Will you wish to live in town, in the country, next to a park, close to schools?  Do you want a garage, stairs, how many bedrooms will you need?  Are you looking for a move in ready home or are you handy and are hoping to save some costs coming in and doing some of your own renovations?  These and many other questions can be asked and considered before your agent even begins a search.

Now the fun part begins.  You can start previewing homes on line.  You can do this for free at my website and find homes all of the homes that are currently available on the MLS.  (www.kwoehl.kwrealty.com)

The website lets you set up price, location, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, if you require a fireplace you can find that too.  Perhaps you want lake shore.  You can set the criteria to only find water front properties.  There is even a way to search for rentals if you don’t have quite enough for a down payment yet and need to rent for a bit.

Here is the best part.  Once you have signed up and set your criteria you won’t have to do this each time.  You can even set this up (or your agent can) so that you get daily emails of new listings that fit your criteria so that you can get in and make an offer before other potential buyers scoop up your dream home.

While viewing homes online can be a huge time saver and helps your agent to learn what you like it is also important to remember to have an open mind.  Sometimes photos can be deceiving and other times they don’t do a home justice.  Perhaps this home is in the perfect neighborhood or maybe its not.  Sticking to your list and then being diligent in your search will find you that perfect home and get you moved in!

 

Mom and Dad Spaces – Dealing with Aging Parents

rocking chairMore and more families are going back to years gone by and making spaces for aging parents.  Some are adding additions so that parents can have separate living quarters and yet have their family very near by.  Others opt for a shared space with a bedroom devoted to mom, dad or both.

When my husband and I were young we built our first home.  While we were in the construction phase we bought a camper and moved it to my parent’s farm.  This worked pretty well as we hooked up to their sewer and used their water.  We had our own space and this worked for us even though it was cramped and did not allow for a lot of storage.  It was a short term living space.

As fall came and then the snow, it became too difficult to keep the little camper heated and we had to refill the fuel tank daily.  My parents let us move into their home for the last month of construction.  We made it work.  We were all a bit more cramped and my hubby and I shared a place on a pull out couch that had to be cleaned up and put away daily in their living room.  We were both allergic to cats and my parents had several.  It worked, but wasn’t the best living arrangements.  Let’s say we were happy to finally move into our new home and they were happy to see us move out and into our new space.

There are certainly things to consider when having your parents or your spouses move into your home.  Will it be separate, will you plan to hang out during the day, will noise be a factor, will you be sharing meals, will you have them sign a lease or will they be allowed to occupy the space for free?  Planning for success will bring success and many families are doing it already.  What a great way to save on rent, lower housing expenses and keep your parents near as they age.  I would love to hear success and horror stories and of course any tips you might have.

Kim is a real estate agent working in the north metro area with Keller Williams Premier Realty.  Let her find you your next home.  Perhaps a home large enough to support your family and a space for mom or dad!

Here is a you tube clip that will give additional considerations to shared space living.  http://youtu.be/XDZdMAJ7KOA

 

 

Letting Go of the Stuff

Removing the Clutter

Empower yourself by reducing the amount of stuff in your environment!

This week was the week I decided to remove more unnecessary items from the basement.  I am not planning on moving, or painting or doing any other large project.  I am just tired of all of the stuff.

We are fortunate to live in an area that has a variety of services that will swing right by the house and collect clothing, household items and in some cases even furniture.  I simply have to have my items on my porch by 8 PM and they pick up my items, leave me a tax slip and I win by having less to get rid of.   When they call I never turn them down.

With all of the items I have removed why does the house still seem full? Perhaps I need to do this room by room, removing all but the necessary items that I still need and love. If I can categorize it in any other fashion perhaps its time to go.

I am one of those persons who makes emotional connections to stuff, much like my own parents did and for that matter, my husband and one of my own boys.  I am not certain how to clean up, de-clutter and remove.  I need one of those organizer guru persons to shape me up.

Moving is a great time to reduce so that you can move in and let go of the past.  Have a garage sale, post items on Craig’s list or Ebay.  Donate, donate, donate.

Its tough to get rid of the stuff, but once it is picked up and gone I feel empowered, good about my accomplishment, frustrated when I look around and still find items that are cluttering my life.

What gets you in the mood to reduce?