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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 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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