5 Cost Effective Ways Anyone Can Increase the Value of their homes in 30 days or less!

Selling a home can be daunting, often times we get so comfortable in our homes, we neglect minor maintenance.  We think nothing of it, however, potential home buyers are going to pay attention to every detail, after all, purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions we can make in our lives.

The goal of this article is to help homeowners prioritize and create a list that is both cost effective, and manageable for those of us who are less handy than others.

1. Curb Appeal

Let's start from on outside and talk about curb appeal.   We can all agree that a first impression leaves a lasting one, landscaping is definitely is going to generate interest in your home.  This may be one of the most cost effective projects, all we need are some gardening tools to tame that patchy grass, and overgrown  jungle!   Edging along the garden bed, walkways and driveway can make a dramatic difference, and fresh mulch is a must!   You can pick up grass seed, topsoil and mulch at your local hardware store.  If your budget allows, hardscaping can help beautify your home, and add some additional appeal!

I usually buy the cheapest stuff, dirt is dirt right!! A bag of top soil on sale can be purchased for around a dollar, and mulch can vary, $2-3 per bag depending on the time of year.


2. “Cleanliness is next to godliness”

I think it was Mahatma Gandhi, who said “cleanliness is next to godliness” and in real estate we should all live by this mantra if selling our home.  I know some of us dislike cleaning, but it can be fun, invite some friends over, open a glass of wine and turn on the music!! You want to focus heavily on areas, such as the kitchen and bathroom, be sure to clean all your windows, outlet covers, appliances, and most importantly your floor baseboards; everyone forgets these!! This is also a great time to declutter, and in the process you can bless people in the community with items such as clothing, and furniture.   And don’t forget the basement, I guarantee most people will appreciate cobweb free floor joists!

Odoban is a great general purpose cleaner, and I love Sprayway for windows and mirrors.


3. The Money Maker

On to the kitchen, this may be one of the more time consuming and expensive rooms in the home to update.  But before you consider tackling the kitchen, it may be wise keep those pennies in your piggy bank, depending on the condition.  The last thing you want to do is break the bank, with little to no returns.  On the other hand if your kitchen is moderately updated, you can make a dramatic transformation by painting your cabinets, changing the hardware, swapping out light fixtures and installing a new faucet.  With a little creativity and a $500 budget you can do wonders, if you don’t believe me, take a look at this video!

I am partial to using Benjamin Moore paints, but they are a bit more expensive. When painting cabinets skimping out can cost you in the long run!  A good eye can point out cheap paint,  which will immediately show wear and tear.  I love using Satin on my cabinets, be sure to pick up a quality primer, my favorite is stix!  And don’t forget to watch some videos on how to paint your cabinets! It’s amazing what paint can do!

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 10.08.43 PM.png

4.  Small Updates = Big Returns!

We are going to apply the same room of thumb in the bathroom! Painting the vanity and adding new hardware can bring a vintage cabinet back to life.  A fresh coat of white semi gloss on the ceiling and trim, and a neutral white will give your bathroom a clean and welcoming feel.  Some of my favorite colors from Benjamin Moore include White Dove, Intense White, Revere Pewter and China White.  Don’t forget about lighting, swapping out light fixtures can cost you less than $50, with much greater returns!

A new top can range from $85-$250, and a faucet $30-$50.  If you go cheap it’s not the end of the world, but it is noticed, there is a big difference in a $35 faucet and and $75, but go with your gut and your budget.  Buying a cheaper faucet may allow you to upgrade your lighting, which is a win, win in my books!

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 10.10.03 PM.png

Here is a great example a before and after!!

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 10.11.02 PM.png

5. Updating your Outlet Receptacles


It sounds silly but I think one of the most dramatic updates, in addition to paint would include swapping old receptacles. In older homes you typically find brown, yellow, almond, but whatever the color, most times they don’t even match.  This may be the trickiest task of them all, but well worth it, and I’m sure you can find a friend who can help!  I’ll share a secret, you can actually buy outlet covers that look like you installed new plugs, you may need to replace some switches and outlets to match, but it is a quick fix when time is of the essence.

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 10.12.10 PM.png

If you are deciding to sell your home, make sure you work with a reputable realtor, find a support team to work with you, not against you.  Most importantly don’t let the stress get to you, have fun, and look to the future for inspiration and motivation!

Thanks for reading, and be sure to reach out to me with further questions, I would be happy to help!  

PS. I find my inspiration on YouTube and Pinterest!!

Building Passive Income with Creative Financing

Photo by Vitaly on Unsplash

Photo by Vitaly on Unsplash

What do I mean by the term creative financing? According to Wikipedia, In real estate, creative financing is non-traditional or uncommon means of buying land or property. The goal of creative financing is generally to purchase, or finance a property, with the buyer/investor using as little of his own money as possible, otherwise known as leveraging, OPM (Other People's Money).

Let’s look at a few options why a homeowner may consider a non traditional method for selling their home.

  • We all hate paying taxes to the government - seller financing can reduce and even eliminate taxes to be paid on the sale of a home
  • Generating passive income.

Before we dive into the benefits, please consult your financial advisor and or accountant before working with a buyer interested in seller financing.

Let’s look at a traditional sale of a home: depending on your income bracket, a homeowner would be responsible to pay anywhere between 15-20% on the gain.  After expenses, if you were to net $100,000, at a rate of 18%, $18,000 would be paid in taxes. With seller financing, the owner and buyer negotiate a down payment, the payment, usually much smaller would be taxed.  For example, if the buyer made a down payment of $20,000.00, the capital gain tax at 18%, would total $3,600.00.  

Moving on to the more exciting benefit: generating passive income. If you sold your home for $100,000.00 and a down payment of $20,000 is agreed upon, the balance on the loan is $80,000.00. The loan is amortized over a 30 year term, at 5%, $222.00 would be paid towards the principle, and $257.00 in interest would be paid monthly. Not only do you have $20,000 in your bank account to take that long needed vacation or put down towards a new home, but you will continue to receive interest payments monthly in the amount of $257.00! I have some even more exciting news: with a 1031 exchange, if you rolled the $20,000 into a new home, you can avoid paying capital gains altogether!

If you're a bit apprehensive, in the event of a default, you, the seller, keep the down payment, you made additional money in interest, and you keep your home! Please contact me with any questions, I look forward to speaking to you!

Cash for Homes Craze!

Flickr:  romana klee

Flickr: romana klee

What do I mean by the "cash for homes craze"? I think we can all agree, as we drive through the city, it’s common to drive past a number of brightly-colored "cash for homes" signs stapled up at major intersections and scattered throughout the city.

Many of the signs share the same message: cash for homes, others claim they can finance anyone as a rent to own, and from time to time l find signs that pay referral fees, up to $250.00. (If we are on the topic of referrals, I will pay $500-$1000.00 for leads that close!) I have always been fascinated with marketing and psychology, and as I read these signs, I always feel a sense of disconnect.

Consumers tend to make irrational decisions when emotions run high, and with the number of signs posted throughout the city, the same questions trouble me; Who is this buyer? What is their intent? Do they really care about the homeowner, or are they just trying to make a quick buck? There is no name associated with the phone number, no face, and no website. As a consumer, this troubles me. Maybe it’s a faith-based reaction, or the idea of community and what it stands for. 

Or maybe it's my own company's mission to find ways to add value to people's lives. Whatever the reason, my goal - first and foremost - is to identify the problem, educate homeowners, and provide solutions. There is a reason my business has my name on it; because it stands for something. Honesty, integrity, and community are values I'm extremely passionate about.

If you’re a homeowner who is highly motivated to sell, the next time you meet with a potential buyer, I encourage you to pay close attention to their words. Are they just offering you cash, or are they actually listening to you? Are they taking the time to understand you and your situation? Are they educating you, and are they providing a solution that's in your best interest?

Thank you so much for taking the visit the site. Please reach out to me at any time, I would love to hear from you!