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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 February 15, 2019

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

Why Is Goal Setting Important to a Truly Fulfilling Life?

In Personal Development-speak, we are always talking about goals, outcomes, success, desires and dreams. In other words, all the stuff we want to do, achieve and create in our world.

And while it’s important for us to know what we want to achieve (our goal), it’s also important for us to understand why we want to achieve it; the reason behind the goal or some would say, our real goal.

Why is goal setting important?

1. Your needs and desire will be fulfilled.

Sometimes when we explore our “why”, (why we want to achieve a certain thing) we realize that our “what” (our goal) might not actually deliver us the thing (feeling, emotion, internal state) we’re really seeking.

For example, the person who has a goal to lose weight in the belief that weight loss will bring them happiness, security, fulfillment, attention, popularity and the partner of their dreams. In this instance, their “what” is weight-loss and their “why” is happiness (etc.) and a partner.

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Six months later, they have lost the weight (achieved their goal) but as is often the case, they’re not happier, not more secure, not more confident, not more fulfilled and in keeping with their miserable state, they have failed to attract their dream partner.

After all, who wants to be with someone who’s miserable? They achieved their practical goal but still failed to have their needs met.

So they set a goal to lose another ten pounds. And then another. And maybe just ten more. With the destructive and erroneous belief that if they can get thin enough, they’ll find their own personal nirvana. And we all know how that story ends.

2. You’ll find out what truly motivates you

The important thing in the process of constructing our best life is not necessarily what goals we set (what we think we want) but what motivates us towards those goals (what we really want).

The sooner we begin to explore, identify and understand what motivates us towards certain achievements, acquisitions or outcomes (that is, we begin moving towards greater consciousness and self awareness), the sooner we will make better decisions for our life, set more intelligent (and dare I say, enlightened) goals and experience more fulfilment and less frustration.

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We all know people who have achieved what they set out to, only to end up in the same place or worse (emotionally, psychologically, sociologically) because what they were chasing wasn’t really what they were needing.

What we think we want will rarely provide us with what we actually need.

3. Your state of mind will be a lot healthier

We all set specific goals to achieve/acquire certain things (a job, a car, a partner, a better body, a bank balance, a title, a victory) because at some level, most of us believe (consciously or not) that the achievement of those goals will bring us what we really seek; joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

Of course, setting practical, material and financial goals is an intelligent thing to do considering the world we live in and how that world works.

But setting goals with an expectation that the achievement of certain things in our external, physical world will automatically create an internal state of peace, contentment, joy and total happiness is an unhealthy and unrealistic mindset to inhabit.

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What you truly want and need

Sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious (superficial) goals to discover and secure what we really want.

Sadly, we live in a collective mindset which teaches that the prettiest and the wealthiest are the most successful.

Some self-help frauds even teach this message. If you’re rich or pretty, you’re happy. If you’re both, you’re very happy. Pretty isn’t what we really want; it’s what we believe pretty will bring us. Same goes with money.

When we cut through the hype, the jargon and the self-help mumbo jumbo, we all have the same basic goals, desires and needs:

Joy, fulfilment, happiness, safety, peace, recognition, love, acceptance, respect, connection.

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Nobody needs a mansion or a sport’s car but we all need love.

Nobody needs massive pecs, six percent body-fat, a face lift or bigger breasts but we all need connection, acceptance and understanding.

Nobody needs to be famous but we all need peace, calm, balance and happiness.

The problem is, we live in a culture which teaches that one equals the other. If only we lived in a culture which taught that real success is far more about what’s happening in our internal environment, than our external one.

It’s a commonly-held belief that we’re all very different and we all have different goals — whether short term or long term goals. But in many ways we’re not, and we don’t; we all want essentially the same things.

Now all you have to do is see past the fraud and deception and find the right path.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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