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4 Simple Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

4 Simple Ways to Increase the Value of Your Home

With real estate markets heating up around the country, many homeowners are looking for ways to maximize the value of their homes in order to receive top dollar. Sometimes, a few simple tweaks and modifications can make a big difference. Give these value-adding activities a try:

1. Remove Non-Structural Walls

Today’s homeowners want space. They care less about partitioned rooms and would much prefer an open floor plan in which one space naturally feeds into the next. If you have non-structural walls or other constricting elements, go ahead and remove them. This includes non-structural columns, kitchen bars, kitchen islands, and interior walls between communal spaces.

2. Install Solar Panels

In 2017, one of the smartest things you can do is invest in solar panels. While you’ll have to pay a considerable amount up front, the long-term value and return on investment is well worth it.

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As Bill Granger, VP of Trinity Solar, points out, “The typical return on investment timeline for a solar energy installation in the U.S. today is approximately 7.5 years for a regular 6-kW system, assuming the typical sunshine conditions of five peak sun-hours per day.” So, if you plan on staying in your home for at least seven or eight years, the investment makes sense.

It should be noted that while you can lease solar panels, buying is the way to go. This prevents home buyers from having to go through the process of working out contracts with a third-party provider.

3. Renovate Money Rooms

Certain rooms add more value to your home than others. Specifically, if you’re looking to enhance your home’s sales price you should pay attention to the master bedroom, master bathroom, and kitchen. These are three rooms that buyers care the most about and a few modern touches in these areas can go a long way.

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In the master bedroom, extra closet space is always one of the first things people look at. If you have an opportunity to create more closet space, go for it. You can also add some trim work, crown molding, and fresh paint.

For the master bathroom, updating the countertop and installing some new hardware can go a long way. Modernizing the shower and tub with stone or tile surroundings can also have a positive aesthetic impact.

When it comes to the kitchen, keep the style and color scheme simple. Anything too crazy and you’ll ostracize a certain segment of the market. “Think neutral for countertops, cabinets, floors, backsplashes and appliances,” says Kristen Hampshire of HGTV. “By neutral, we don’t mean white. Go natural and subdued. Choose surfaces and fixtures that blend with many styles.”

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4. Landscape and Pressure Wash

While the interior deserves a lot of attention, you can’t forget about the exterior. Curb appeal is what draws people in and determines whether buyers have a positive or negative first impression. Swing and miss on the exterior and people may stop before even coming inside.

When it comes time to put your home on the market, some fresh landscaping can go a long way toward making people feel welcome. Simply pulling weeds, planting flowers, and freshening up the lawn can grab a buyer’s attention.

You should also think about pressure washing the siding and walkways. It’s amazing what a difference clean surfaces can make on a potential buyer. (You can easily rent pressure-washing equipment from your local hardware store.)

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All-in-all, there are plenty of simple ways to add value to your home. Don’t automatically assume that you have to build a bonus room or gut the entire interior. With just a few small tweaks, you can add thousands of dollars to your listing price.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock.com via shutterstock.com

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Anna Johansson

Anna specializes in entrepreneurship, technology, and social media trends.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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