Month : August 2017


Home Improvements That Pay Off Later

Open up spaces in your home 

  • Homebuyers like open spaces for entertaining and living. Often you can take a wall down between a kitchen and living room or dining room and open up some rooms to make the space look larger. Buyers in the future will appreciate the updated floor plan and will be more motivated to look at your home over more dated, chopped up floor plans.
Convert an attic to a master suite
  • Some homes have an unfinished attic space, for example the common 1.5 story homes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. This is a great area to finish off into a master suite. Adding a master bedroom with an en suite bath is a great equity builder to a home if there is not already a master suite. This unfinished attic area is great place to do this.
Remove popcorn ceilings & paint
  • One of the best and most affordable updates you can perform to your home is new paint. Keep the color scheme neutral and make sure you keep up on touch-ups to the base boards and trim. Another great update to perform is removing that dated popcorn finish on your ceilings.
  • Outdoor spaces and entertaining is a big trend, more homeowners are looking at their back yards and patios as an extended living area from their house. Plant trees and shrubs that will mature over time. Fire pits and patios are a great way to add out door living space.


Benefits to a Fall Move

Summer is the most popular time of year to stage a move. Kids are on break from school so you don’t have to worry about uprooting them mid-year, and you can usually count on sunny—albeit hot—weather. However, if you have some flexibility in selecting your moving dates, there are several advantages to the fall season that can actually make it the most ideal time of year to move, especially if you follow a couple tips for making the process smooth and problem-free.

Benefits to moving in the fall

– Fall is the most cost-effective time of year to move. During summer, moving companies are in peak demand, and their prices reflect that. Demand decreases after the summer moving season tapers off in September, and you’ll find it easier to secure moving services at a more reasonable rate. You’ll also have more control over dates and times, since schedules aren’t as full.

– Summer may have more reliably sunny days, but fall’s cooler temperatures make for much more pleasant moving conditions. Move in July and you’ll be soaked with sweat after the first trip from truck to house and back, but move in the fall and you’ll enjoy crisp air and a fresh breeze to keep you cool throughout the day. The process will also be more efficient, since you won’t be exhausted by the heat and dragging your feet before mid-afternoon.

– Because fewer people are moving during the fall, you’ll have more buying power when house-hunting. There may be fewer options, but a smaller market has its advantages. For one thing, a less crowded market is a less competitive market. You won’t feel pressured to make an offer on a home before you’re ready just to avoid losing it to another buyer. You also run less risk of becoming involved in a bidding war, and sellers will be more responsive to negotiations, especially if they had hoped to sell before summer ended.

Tips for moving in the fall

– Fall foliage will make your moving day a beautiful one, but leaves on the ground can be a safety hazard when you’re lugging heavy boxes and furniture up and down the front walkway. Make sure to clear fallen leaves off the lawn and walkways before you give your movers the go-ahead to start unloading your truck. A slip and fall could result in damage to your possessions or, worse, injury to you or your movers.

– If you have kids, the primary downside to moving during the fall is missing the start of the new school year. Plan ahead to make this transition as easy as possible for them. Talk to your children about the move so you can answer any questions and soothe any worries. It will also help to contact the school to ask for information about your children’s new teachers and to request any assignments or material they can work on in the meantime so they are up to speed on the curriculum when they arrive.

– As beautiful as fall is, the weather can be unpredictable during this time of year. Be prepared to postpone moving day if the weather is too inclement—heavy rains will risk damaging your furniture and increase the likelihood of dangerous slips and falls. If the day is only overcast or there’s a light drizzle, have warm layers and rain protection on hand, including ponchos for your valiant moving team!


Back to School Parent Hack

Keep an apple from going brown

Now here’s a familiar situation: Your kid has trouble eating whole apples, so you cut it up for him. But, he also hates it when the apple turns brown—and of course refuses to eat it. Here’s your solution: Wrap a rubber band around your pre-sliced apple to keep it from getting brown.


Kitchen Hack

Don’t waste your time flipping

Now don’t flip out on us, but you don’t always have to flip your food. When roasting items such as French fries and veggies, pre-heating your cookie sheet eliminates the need to flip halfway through. This method isn’t suggested for baked goods like cookies (they wouldn’t look so pretty).