Look Beyond The Seller’s Odd Choices To Find A Bargain Property


Glaring and ugly choice of paint? Exercise equipment cluttering up the kitchen? Weird and unsightly family photos located all over the house? Don’t let it bother you or affect how you see a property.

Ask your real estate agent and they will have plenty of stories about houses with a number of flaws. Filthy stained carpets, bathrooms that have cracks running down the walls, and appliances that have not been updated in decades.

The seller is not required to make sure that their home is in a presentable condition before putting it on the market and showing it to potential buyers. But a lazy seller can be an upside for the right home buyer.

Below are three unsightly things that may be off-putting, but should not stop you from considering making an offer on the property. Especially if the location, layout, or building is still right for you.

Ugly wallpaper and tired old dirty carpets

Turn key properties that are ready to move in are popular with today’s potential buyers. Most people lead busy lives and don’t have the time to take on a large renovation project when buying a home, this is certainly true of the always connected younger generation of home buyers.

However, replacing old carpets with new carpet or flooring and painting the interior of a property doesn’t have to be too time-consuming and expensive, and can easily be completed before moving in.

If a seller is unwilling to replace their tired and worn old carpets or give the interior of their home a fresh coat of paint in a neutral color, they are damaging the chances of finding a buyer and a good price for their home.

A fresh paint job and new flooring won’t cost a fortune and shouldn’t take much longer than a week, and can change the whole feel of a property.

Rooms that are being used for odd purposes

It is surprisingly common to see rooms in the home being used for a purpose that they were not designed for. Many people use a spare room as a home office. Some people even use the dining room as a gym and the bathroom as a walk in wardrobe.

However, just because the current occupier uses a space for a certain purpose, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. Try to look beyond the odd use of rooms and try to forget that the seller lives in the property.

After the seller has moved out, the exercise equipment in the dining room will be gone and the walk in wardrobe can easily be turned back into a bathroom.

An overpoweringly strong presence of the current home owner

When a property is adorned with personal photos, diplomas, and possessions that belong to the seller, it can difficult for the potential buyer to picture themselves living in the property. The homes that are most appealing to buyers are neutral and don’t have an overpowering sense of the current owner.

Worse than just the possessions of the current occupier is when the seller is actually present while the property is shown to potential buyers. It creates an uncomfortable feeling for all involved. The buyer feels that they have to be on their best behavior and that interferes with them exploring the home properly. They feel restricted in voicing their opinions on the home and see themselves as a guest in the home, rather than a potential owner.

A property that is too personalized or where the seller is regularly present for viewings can stay on the market for a long time, and often gain a bad reputation as more time passes. However, a potential buyer can use this to their advantage to acquire the property below the seller’s asking price.

The sellers that unknowingly sabotage the sale of their home often offer an opportunity to buyers to hit a price point under budget when making an offer. Most of the buyers in today’s market have a hard time looking beyond the seller’s clutter, over personalized design and style, or customized changes to the property.

Try to look beyond the seller’s changes and if a home is in a good location with a nice floor plan you should consider whether you can transform the property and make the home the one you’re looking for.

Quality Landscaping In The Yard Of Your New Home

 

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You may see your new yard as a blank canvas, but make sure you consider your options before you start digging. So, you’ve finally had your bid accepted and you’re looking forward to getting to work on the vision you have for your new yard! Well, the bad news is that the green lawn covers dreadful soil and unsightly pipes and wiring that have been covered for years.

While the good news is that there’s still plenty of time to salvage this. The weeds haven’t overrun your yard yet and there’s still plenty of green life left in that grass. Here we will cover five guidelines to help you improve your yard and create an outdoor space you can enjoy for years to come.

Get your beds in order

Whether you have new top soil or old dirt that has been used to fill patches, your ground will need some work to become fertile soil.

It would be nice to have an endless supply of free compost, however, it does take some time to naturally build up organic compost from the grass trimmings alone. The alternative is to buy bags of compost, with packaged cow manure (a popular choice).

Another option is mushroom compost. However, this can be harmful to young seedlings and any plants and flowers that are sensitive to salts, such as camellias and azaleas.

Work out the lay of the land

You may want to start planting the vegetable garden you always wanted as soon as you move in, but you must make sure you know where is suitable. Does the spot you have in mind receive enough sunlight and does it have suitable drainage to keep it safe from puddles?

First, I would suggest that you sketch out a diagram of your yard. This will help you to visualize what you want and identify potential problem areas. Make sure you highlight the areas that get plenty of sunlight and the areas that are mostly in the shade.

Don’t worry if your diagram looks a bit messy. As long as it helps you to successfully plan the layout of your garden and you can understand what you have drawn.

Get rid of any unwanted builder plantings

The builder plantings that are in your new yard may look harmless enough, but they may very well grow into monsters that cause you a hassle later on.

Make sure that you properly identify all of your existing plants, and judge whether they are suitable for you. A tree that drops messy leaves on your lawn, or fruit that requires harvesting can be a lot of work. If you leave them to their own devices, they can block drains and even stain your paving slabs or driveway.

Trees with weak wood may snap at a later date and damage your home. While an invasive species of plant may take over your whole garden. Some species of plant are fine when they are in the right location. However, if you think that it may grow too big or is located too close to your home it is best to have it removed.

Plan for the future

What is your biggest priority in your yard? Maybe it’s having friends and family come over to enjoy the evening?

Try to picture yourself, your kids, partner, and your family or friends, 10 years in the future. What will the priority in your yard used for then?

It might be very tempting to go the extra mile and completely revamp the whole area with a hot tub and quality landscaping/additions but don’t break the bank if you don’t have to. Think about whether or not these additions will be suitable for you and your family in the future? You can have the garden that you have always wanted, but will you want the same things when your life situation changes in the future?

Make a start with groundcovers and some mulch

Weeds are unavoidable in the garden. But poorly maintained lawn and garden beds that need attention are the perfect breeding ground.

Mulch is great for keeping the soil moist, so start with a two-inch layer of mulch. Make sure that you gradually phase out using mulch eventually, as it can be expensive and even take nutrients away from your soil.

Introduce creeping phlox or another groundcover species like mondo grass around the edges of your borders when you plant a new bed. Groundcovers suppress weeds and can save you lots of money and effort as time goes by.

Is A Starter Home Right For You?


When you’re looking for the right home you might find yourself with an endless sequence of choices. House or condo? Suburban or city centre? But there is one particular choice that bothers a lot of first-time buyers. Should I buy a starter property or a home to last for years to come?

In previous decades, first-time buyers usually went for smaller and more affordable properties. This helped them to build a credit rating and to gain some equity. More established homeowners looked for larger properties to provide enough room for their friends and children.

A study, conducted by Bank of America, discovered that up to three-quarters of new buyers plan to ditch the idea of a starter home and purchase a property that is equipped to accommodate them for years to come. While the older generation of homeowners is increasingly looking to downsize their homes.

Where do you fit into the new real estate landscape? Below are some questions to help you purchase the home that is right for you.

What stage of life am I in?

If you can identify the stage of life you are in, you can narrow your focus to find a suitable property. Age isn’t as much of a factor as it used to be. Some older homeowners without children may want to downsize to a starter home in a dynamic neighbourhood, while a younger buyer may want to find a long-term property where they can raise a family. At the end of the day, find a property that feels right for you.

What type of property best fits my lifestyle today?

While you should have some idea of what you want in the future, don’t be overly stressed by finding a property that you consider to be “the perfect fit” for your vision of the future. Life has a habit of changing course, so be realistic about what you need in a property.

A starter home is more suitable for buyers that have transitional lives. People that change employment regularly, relocate often, or have a young family fall into this category. However, people that are looking for a more permanent lifestyle and a larger sense of local community may be better off looking for a long term property than a starter home.

What can I afford?

The fact is, the amount of money you can afford for a down payment will have a large impact on the type of property you decide on.

Starter properties are usually cheaper than the type of homes that would be ideal for a long term buyer. This means you will need less money for a down payment on a starter home. When you are going over your finances, make sure that you look beyond the initial down payment and factor in other costs, such as maintenance costs, utility bills, cable, and other monthly upkeep costs. Considering all your possible bills will help you make a more informed decision.

Do I want to look at my home as an investment?

The investment aspect of buying a home should influence whether you look for a starter home or another type of property. If you are not concerned with making a profit on your home and can afford a property at the top end of the market, then a home for the future may be achievable for you. Starter homes are often occupied for a lot less time per owner than their long-term counterparts. If however, you want to try and make a profit when you sell your property, a starter home may be a more suitable investment opportunity.

Are you considering renting out the property in the future?

A starter home may not be suitable for you in the future, but could be suitable for a potential renter. One of the beautiful things about a starter home is, they can easily be turned into a rental property and provide a potential source of monthly income. Although, you must decide whether you are interested in becoming a landlord and whether or not you can handle the responsibilities that come with it. If you can, this rental property could provide a great monthly income that can go towards paying for a home that is more suited to your changing needs.

Getting Your House Ready For Appraisal

Home appraisal time, are you nervous yet? Don’t be, this doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience for you. If you use the right tools, and go into the process well informed this can be a pretty easy experience. The following information will also help you make substantial gains in your journey towards your next home.

 

Did you study up?

 

As with most aspects of the real estate process, it’s good to do your homework. The appraisal process is really no different, make sure you’ve looked into the market thoroughly. Presumably, your appraiser is a local who is quite versed in the local market. Also, make sure they’re certified, you could come across an appraiser who has yet to receive their certification.

 

Home Maintenance

 

A week before, or at least a few days before the appraiser arrives do one final inspection. Make sure everything is clean and well organized. Don’t bet on something looking “okay” or “holding up” until just after the appraisal. Make the investment in whatever improvement needs to be made. You need to be thinking long term with these improvements, their impact on your home value could be important.

 

Curb Appeal

 

Always go for the best-looking house on the block when you’re about to get an appraisal. One of the biggest aspects of curb appeal is the landscaping. A beautiful home can get dinged by an unkempt front yard with weeds and unruly grass. At the very least clean up the front, make sure the lawn is mowed, weeds pulled leaves collected and that there’s no trash.

 

Check the Appliances

 

Have you checked all the appliances? Make sure if they’re not new that they’re all running efficiently. A malfunctioning large home appliance can certainly impact your home’s value. So, if need be you should replace the appliance or check your warranty and call the manufacturer to see if you can have repairs done.

 

Be a proud owner

 

By this I mean just show your home is taken care of because of your proud ownership. We don’t need to go in-depth on specifics here just show you really care about your home. Proud ownership is certainly reflected in the quality of the home.

 

How well do you know your neighborhood?

 

Prior to getting your home appraised it’s important to see what the nearby homes in your neighborhood are currently valued at. The neighboring home values are a very strong influence on your home’s appraisal value.

 

Be sure to discuss any unusual circumstances with your appraiser prior to your valuation. If you had a neighbor who moved quickly and sold his home abruptly for whatever reason it can impact your home valuation. If both you and your appraiser are well informed on what’s been happening in your neighborhood it will only help you.

 

Cost does not equate to value

 

We discussed how minor improvements can make a difference to your home’s overall value. However, not every single improvement you try to make will bring up your home value. Understanding that will make the appraisal process much easier. Understanding effective economic return is very important when it comes to home value. Before you make huge expenditures simply in the name of using your home value research that exact principle.

 

Are you not entirely satisfied?

 

If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your appraisal value, you should contact the appraiser. If you do have concerns, make sure you have data to validate them. Another option is to hire another appraiser and get a second appraisal.

 

Finally, if you’re still not satisfied you can take your issues to the appraisal board. However, rarely will two home appraisals entirely skewed. Be sure to consult your agent as well, undoubtedly they have been involved with this process before and as usual, they should be your number one source of go to information.         

Finding the Balance Between Budget and Home Improvements

Whether you are revamping your own home or working on an investment property, renovating can be very expensive.

Weigh up your home upgrade options

There are not many homeowners with an endless budget to upgrade everything they want to in their home.

A good starting point is to sit down and evaluate the property as a whole and then decide on which parts are most significant and the parts most in need of upgrading. Then think about where you will need to spend the majority of your budget.

In the majority of renovations, the bathroom and kitchen offer the best investment, but they are not always the areas that require the most work. Analyse your kitchen and bathroom to see what you can keep and salvage from the materials that you already have and see what needs upgrading.

Look around the rest of your home to identify other areas that would impress potential buyers after being upgraded.

First impressions are vital in real estate, so think about spending some of your budget on the porch and front foyer.

Splashing out and reigning in spending

Look at every room in your house and identify the stand out features that will catch the attention of potential buyers. This will help you know where you should plash out and where you should save.

If you are renovating the kitchen, you could splash out on expensive marble counter tops, but you could save by being selective and only using marble for some of your counter tops. If you are splashing out on expensive counter tops then a stainless steel island can considerably save your budget.

In the bathroom, you don’t have to break the bank on the most expensive tiles on the market for the whole of your bathroom. A neutral tile for the walls of the shower and the floor can save you a bundle, and still provide great results.

You can give your bathroom some style by adding a strip of the expensive tile that surrounds the shower wall and borders the floor. This will give your bathroom a great look and cost a fraction of the budget.

Think about your flooring

Hardwood flooring is popular with everybody, but stylish wood flooring can make a large dent in your budget.

Laminate flooring has improved drastically over the years and can the most cost effective way to get a stylish hardwood flooring look that doesn’t break the bank.

If you do decide to go with real hardwood flooring, which lots of people still do, then you can create an elegant look by being selective where you decide to use it. Do you really need to replace the floors in all of the rooms?

Your kitchen and bathroom should be tiled to avoid water damage, so what about the bedrooms? You can save by using carpet instead of expensive hard wood flooring.

Keep things in the yard nice and simple

Be advised that is not a good idea to go crazy landscaping in the garden, particularly if you are trying to sell the property. Consider some low maintenance options instead of investing in expensive plants and flowers that will need to be looked after and maintained regularly.

Instead of spending big on an expensive paved walkway and blowing your budget, consider an appealing gravel path that surrounds your home. It will give a nice consistent look without the large cost of a paved walkway.

The best advice when it comes to landscaping and the outdoor features of your property is to keep things simple. A nice neutral look is appealing to potential buyers and gives them the space to view themselves living in the property before they even walk through the door.

Don’t break the bank on the garden, but ensure that everything is neat and tidy, save your budget for the important interior that buyers will see when they enter the property.

The best piece of advice when it comes to renovation that stays within a budget is to be selective and know where your money is best spent. Decide on the areas that require something special and a larger chunk of your budget. Then save on the areas that won’t drastically affect the value or appeal of your property, and not affect the your enjoyment of the day to day living in your home.

Looking to Buy a Bigger Home For Less? Let’s Make it Happen!

Compact housing options have actually gotten very popular in recent years, but if you could have the amount of space you were actually looking for at the price you wanted you’d be happy right? Exactly. You might be surprised by the different options available to you! So here are some ways you might be able to find some more space without breaking the bank. If you have any additional questions feel free to shoot me an email or leave your contact info and I’d love to get back to you.
Old listings
Look for homes that are just outside of your current budget and then narrow it down to homes that have been on the market for 30 days or more. When a house has been on the market that long you’ll be going into the deal with some leverage. You’ll be encountering a motivated seller because presumably at this point they just want to unload this house and they’ll be more open to negotiations.
Old homes
Yes older homes sometimes have terrible wallpaper and terrible old tile and lots of clutter. Don’t shrug this tip off just yet, these types of homes tend to be overlooked by buyers. If you have a vision you can make this the home you’re looking for without spending too much. You might even be able to get this home for less than your established budget and use the difference to make changes.
You’re looking to renovate
Some homes have lots of space but they feel small because of the layout. You can easily knock down some walls to make a cramped space feel very accommodating. Like the tip above you need to have a little vision, and if you like hitting walls with sledgehammers, bonus points.
There are also loan options that will allow you to basically bundle the renovation costs into the price of the initial home loan. If that’s something you’d be interested in, discuss it with your agent.
Discuss the new builds
This is a unique one, but if you’re willing to purchase a home before it’s been fully constructed you can negotiate the size. Also if the home is a very recent build odds are the floor plan is already more spacious so you might not even need to negotiate that much.
Shared living space
Roommates or even additional family members can make it easier to afford a more spacious place. If you’re not wanting to deal with the possibility of renovating this might be the option for you. Some of the key features you’re hoping to have could be paid for by the savings you get from an additional roommate. Just be detailed in your search for the right roommate, the wrong roommate can make a large home feel much smaller than it actually is. Find someone meticulous and clean, maybe even someone who won’t be there as often as you due to work.
Can you widen your search area?
This is a more common recommendation made by agents. If you’re willing to compromise your location at least a little bit you might be able to land more square footage. Even looking 5-10 minutes out of your ideal location can make a significant difference. So don’t dismiss this option if you’d rather avoid the possible work of renovation. Just make sure if things like school districts are an important consideration that you still fall within the area you need to be located in. It would be unfortunate to be aiming at having your child attend a certain school only to realize after you close you’re actually just outside the district.
Again I really hope you found this info helpful! If there is anything else you’d like to discuss on this list in more detail, leave me your contact info or reach out to me directly and I’d love to talk! Feel free to browse the rest of my blog for more tips tricks and helpful info you can use during your real estate buying or seling experience.

This Might Be Driving Your Listing Agent Crazy

If you’re a home seller and you have an agent, he or she will be spending a lot of time with you and your home. You can develop a very close relationship with your listing agent, and while that may be a good thing, it can also result in a few frustrating stand offs. So, let’s break down some common things that can make your listing agent’s job a little tougher than it needs to be.

 

Your home is a mess

 

If your home is a mess it’ll be difficult to sell. Give your agent the best possible chance at selling your home, by getting it in a show-ready state. Pick up the kids’ toys, wash or at least stash dirty dishes in the dishwasher and vacuum and sweep the floors. First impressions are everything to homebuyers, so make it easy and pleasant to show your home.

 

If you are determined to get that home sold (which I assume you are) make daily cleaning a thing. If you stay on top of it daily even just 30 minutes at a time it’ll be more manageable. Also Make sure before your home is listed that you remove any additional clutter that isn’t essential to you living there. The more spacious you can make the home appear while maintaining its appeal the better your shot at selling it quickly.

 

You’re there for the open house

 

Be involved with the home selling process by all means, but when you have an open house make sure you’re not there. People are coming to judge your house, in most instances people won’t be as relaxed and laid back as they need to be if the sellers are following them around. So take the off and go spend some time with your kids or just go relax somewhere else and trust your agent.

 

You’re waiting for the best possible offer

Your interpretation of the best possible offer might be skewing your judgement. You might be in the ideal situation where you’re receiving multiple offers. However, if you try to push the envelope too far you might end up pushing all those potential buyers away. So striking a healthy balance between your asking price and the offers coming in will come down to listening to your listing agent.

 

You left a mess for the buyer

 

You sold your home, which is great. However, you left a mess for the buyer to deal with when they finally decide to move im. Don’t leave the buyer in a sour mood, remember these are the people who might need to forward your mail for the next few weeks. So clean out any areas that usually go overlooked (garage, attic) and make sure the home is welcoming for the buyer.

 

You’re convinced your home is special

 

Your home will have a different amount of emotional value to you than it will to a prospective buyer. So try to separate yourself from the intangible qualities of the home that make it so special to you. Holding on to these special qualities and memories will make the process of selling the home a bit more difficult for your agent. Remember they see you home for what it is and you see it for something entirely different. Being aware of that will make this process easier for all parties involved here.

 

Just relax and make sure your listing agent is in control of this process and everything will be much easier. They understand how important the home is to you and their goal is to get you the value you deserve. So ask if you need to do anything additional to the house and stay clear when you need to. Your listing agent will be very appreciative to you throughout the entire process.                

Home Not Selling? This Might Be Why

Nothing is more disappointing to a homeowner than when their property sits on the market without receiving any offer. This can be a worrying situation. However, worrying too much is not going to fix a thing. Rather, it is all about finding the solution to that problem.

The solution is to identify the cause of your home sitting on the market for so long. Is there anything wrong with the home? Is it something you have done, or haven’t done that is affecting the home on the market? You should be worrying about how to fix all this and dig deeper to learn the real reason for the home sitting on the market for so long. To help you crack the code, here are some reasons that could prevent your home from selling.

The listing photos are not appealing

Most of the potential home buyers will go through the listing pictures of the home before they can decide to view the house physically. That is why photography is a vital aspect that enhances the first impression of the home. You might find it helpful to hire a professional photographer. Ideally, go for a real estate photographer, who will have an idea of the best photos to take. Improving the online presence via the photos will make the buyer want to pay a physical visit to your home.

A problem with the home touch-ups

Your home might look nice, and all appealing, but have you noticed the extremely classic-themed kitchen? What about the cracks in the driveway? These are some of the things that might seem minor, but they will chase away the potential buyers. Carry out all the appropriate renovations around the house, and get all the necessary help from a professional to make the entire process easy. You can spend less than $700 for an average home renovation, which is an investment worth trying.

The home is extremely personal

It is okay to customize your home according to your preference. Some people paint their bedrooms black, others paint their porches pink, among other customizations. All these are great for you and your comfort, but what about the buyer? If possible, use neutral paints and other customizations to make the home default enough for anyone to purchase it. If the home is too you, it could be a reason for it staying on the market for long without receiving any offer.

The price is too high

Everyone wants to make a profit whenever they put their home on the market. However, some tend to be too greedy, and they overprice their home. When the price is too high, buyers will try to avoid your property like a plague. Even if you want to profit from your home sale, you still need to be reasonable and friendly enough with your pricing.

You are too nosy during inspections

Before any home can be officially placed on the market or sold to a potential buyer, it must undergo proper inspection by a professional. During the inspection, the buyer will be taken round to be sure that everything is in shape. To some home owners, they stick around during the inspection, walking from one room to another with the agent and the buyer. It might be an innocent gesture, but it could also be a wrong impression to the buyer. Any seller should allow the buyer to speak freely with the agent. If you can, let the agent handle your property, and you will be updated whenever.

Hiring the wrong real estate agent

It could be that you did not hire the perfect real estate agent, or you didn’t hire any at all. While some try to avoid this fact, the real estate agent has enough experience and skills in the field. For that, they will help you make the right choices as you intend to sell the home. The real estate agent can also assist you in placing the right price that will benefit you and not scares away the buyers.
Also, hiring the wrong agent can lead you to more trouble. Some are only after the homeowner’s money, so you might not end up selling your home as you expected. For that, ensure that you do your homework and find a reputable and reliable real estate agent.

These are some of the factors that might be affecting your home listing on the market. Ensure that each of them is checked and that you get the necessary help from a professional real estate agent. With that observed, you can be confident in selling your home without much difficulty.

How Keep New Home Construction On Track


There are plenty of potential pitfalls with new construction; there are hundreds of nightmare stories of new homes that have gone terribly wrong. However, there are some steps you can take to ensure you do not suffer the same fate.

Visit the construction site regularly

There are lots of unnerving unknowns when it comes to new construction. Maybe your lumber has been left out in bad weather and is starting to show signs of wood rot, or a miscommunication with a subcontractor leads to your new home facing the wrong way!

The best way to ease your nerves, and ensure these problems don’t happen, is to visit the construction site very often to keep an eye on the progress. Don’t leave it until the final walk through before you see everything thats been going on there.

Try to visit the construction site for a walk through at least three times.

The first time should be after the home has been staked out and surveyed as it gives you the opportunity to ensure it is situated correctly.

Once the framing is complete and mechanical installation has begun. This is the ideal time to address any issues, such as ventilation or the electrical wiring.

The last time to visit is for the final walk through; at this stage you will review the punch list. Try to visit as often as possible to address problems as soon as they arise and have more chance to be quickly corrected.

Builders and contractors are human, so mistakes can happen. There is nothing wrong with bringing to their attention any issues or problems you have with the construction. Be aware that some things may appear to be problems, but may just be incomplete construction. Bring any problems to your builder’s attention and they should advise you as to whether it is yet to be finished or something that needs to be fixed.

Keep an eye on your punch list

You will do a final walk through of your newly constructed home with your builder before closing on your property. They will give you the opportunity to point out any issues, imperfections, or defects that need to be corrected before you can move in. You can check for anything from scratches on the wall to poorly fitted light switches and bring it to your builder’s attention.

Make sure you have an in-depth look around the property and compile a checklist before hand to take with you, some construction companies even offer software designed to help you create your punch list.

Make sure to be vocal about any problems. Your builder won’t be able to fix issues he doesn’t know about.

If you have been through your checklist and your builder has fixed any problems, you can feel confident and content closing on your new home.

Know your warranty

Most states require a construction warranty with new homes, with builders providing backing from one to several years.

Claiming on your warranty is the simplest way to correct any underlying issues with your home, caused by construction errors, poor workmanship, or just rotten luck.

Some problems take time to appear so it is worth getting a professional inspection of your property when it approaching the end of your warranty. They can point out any problems, such as slow leaks or mold, that can be resolved before your warranty expires. Think of it as the final walk through.

Try to be flexible with your time frame

You may be eager to move in to your new home, but construction takes time and can easily take longer than estimated to be completed.

Lots of potential pitfalls can delay construction, a freak hail storm or heavy rain over the summer months can result in time frames being shifted over the course of a projects completion.

There are not many builders that will agree to tight deadlines with penalties for late completion. It is best to try and agree on timeframes for construction landmarks, such as framing or roof completion.

You may have to pay a higher price for quick construction, but you will have a deadline for completion. However, it is advisable to have a flexible deadline on the project if possible. By allowing your builders a flexible time frame to work on the construction you might ensure that your property suffers from fewer long term errors.

High Tech Home Automation Upgrades


Bring your home into the 21st century with some high tech home automation upgrades.

Many people have already upgraded their property with home automation, but may be completely unaware that they have. You may already use products such as the Nest thermostat or the Amazon Echo, these products are in fact technologies that are part of the home automation revolution that is changing the way people live in their homes.

Today’s market provides a home automation device for each and every room in your home. Below are some of the top home automation products to upgrade your home.

In the kitchen

Bluetooth thermometer

You will never mistakenly burn your meal again with a helpful smart meat thermometer. It works by sending the information from the thermometer to your smart phone via a Bluetooth connection, showing you when your pork, chicken, turkey, or fish reaches the right temperature.

Slow cooker

You can start dinner before you leave the office with a Wi-Fi enabled crock pot. By simply swiping your finger across your smart phone you can turn the cooker on, set the temperature, or turn it off to make sure that your dinner isn’t burnt if you are delayed in getting back to your home.

Wi Fi enabled kettle

Set the kettle to boil remotely by using an app on your smart phone. Whether you want the kettle to be boiled before you get out of bed or ready for you when you get home from work, the Wi Fi enabled iKettle will boil your water and even hold its temperature for up to a half hour.

In the bathroom

Bluetooth speakers for the shower

Sing along to your favorite songs with the Aquatunes waterproof speaker. The speaker connects to your phone or tablet via Bluetooth and enables you to stream music from your device that is played in the shower. Simply hook the speaker on to your shower rod and press the sync button to link up with your mobile device.

Heated toilet seat

LumaWarm offer the heated nightlight toilet seat. The seat is illuminated by a blue LED light and is equipped with multiple temperature settings that warm the seat within a couple of minutes.

In the bedroom

Smart bedroom lighting

Smart lighting can help you relax at the end of the day, and even help you fall asleep, with lighting that is personalized to you, with dimming and variable color temperatures. There are several types of smart lighting products available, with some set by timers that can be easily accessed and changed through your smart phone, while others utilize motion sensors to adapt the lighting to your nightly routine.

Smart windows

Equip your windows with smart window film, or adjustable blinds that operate by a motor, which can be accessed on your smart phone. Smart blinds and shades can adapt and respond to the lighting level outside. Smart window film offers the ability to transition your window from clear to opaque by simply tapping a button on your smart phone.

Home automation for any room

Smart sockets/plugs

Smart plugs are a simple and easy way to make a start upgrading your home. The smart socket device plugs into your existing power outlet and enables you to remotely control the power usage and keep an eye on your energy usage. There are several manufacturers of smart plugs, iHome, TP-LINK, Belkin, and D-Link to name a few, and the devices are an affordable way to start upgrading your home with prices ranging from as low as $30.

Humidity detector

The Humidity Sensor and Fan Control by Leviton can identify the level of humidity in your home and automatically react to it by turning on a ventilation fan. The smart device can be used in the bathroom and any other area of your home to reduce moisture in the air.

Room by room upgrades

If you still don’t really know where to start, there are several home automation and smart home upgrade kits on the market.

The main purpose of home automation is to make daily tasks easier for the user. You don’t need to rush and try to upgrade everything in your home at once. Identify areas of your home or exact tasks where you would appreciate some technological help, then research what home automation options are available to fulfill your needs.