(NC)-By now we've all heard the old adage about the importance of curb appeal. If you can't get potential buyers in the door, good luck selling your home. This is especially true today with so many homes competing on the market. Home staging has become a popular trend for interior spaces, but according to experts, the same care needs to be applied to the exterior.
"Home buyers weigh the outside impression of a home as much as the inside, especially when surfing real estate websites and online images of homes," explains Priscilla Bergeron, Assistant Brand Manager for Sikkens, the industry leader in wood protection. "You only have one chance to make a first impression. By spending a little time and money on the outside, potential buyers may be more inclined to give your home a second look, and hopefully, a better offer."
According to Bergeron, the first step in giving your outdoor spaces the important face lift they need is to update your outside woodwork weathered by the sun, rain and snow. "You can give a high end look to your front porch, window trim, doors, siding and backyard deck with premium wood finishes. They provide a rich, professional touch to all exterior projects, while preserving and protecting the wood from the effects of weather and aging," she adds.
Home decks return about 70 per cent of their original cost back to homeowners when a house is sold, according to Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value Report, but that's only when the decks are kept in top shape.
To bring weathered wood finishes back to life, Bergeron recommends applying high end wood finish products to give a beautiful rich and professional look to your woodwork that will seduce potential home buyers.
She points out that Sikkens products are available in translucent, semi-transparent and solid wood finishes and in a variety of different colours. To please a wider array of potential buyers, Bergeron recommends opting for more traditional colours. Translucent products give a rich, glamorous and professional look to any house.
Once the woodwork has been updated you can now stage your deck, patio or poolside, like you would indoors. "Whether your home's style is modern minimalist, country, or traditional, your outdoor décor should be a reflection and an extension your home's interior to achieve a seamless look," she explained.
This can be accomplished with the choice of outdoor furnishings and accessories which should look fresh, new and vibrant. Newer furnishings and planters in carefully chosen colours will help keep your outdoor spaces looking up-to-date and contemporary. Further define your deck or patio by setting a table with colorful outdoor dinnerware. For your porch, consider a bistro table and chairs to help welcome buyers into your living space.
More information is available online at www.sikkens.ca.
(NC)-When it comes to cleaning products, cleanliness and toxicity have become synonymous, but today's classic home care products have finally been exposed for what they are - dangerous. Traditional cleaners boast health and cleanliness when in reality they have been blamed for contributing to a slew of health problems while destroying "good bacteria" and making us more susceptible to illness.
It's time to change the way we clean our homes. Harsh chemicals and dangerous fumes impact our overall health, and there are many natural solutions that can take care of whatever ails the cleanliness of your home. Here are some tips to help bring natural solutions to your home:
• According to a survey, 71 per cent of the population living with smokers is concerned about indoor air pollutants caused by cigarettes - instead of adding more by spraying air fresheners and chemical deodorizers, try using baking soda boxes in strategic locations.
• When polled, 45 per cent of pet owners are concerned about how their furry friends can negatively affect air quality. While vacuuming regularly helps, customizable air filters like the Bionaire AER1 System can improve and reduce problematic odors quickly and safely without having to make Fido spend the night outside.
• If you're an at-home chef who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, you know it is sometimes challenging to keep the colorful aroma where it belongs. Essential oils and diffusers help to neutralize overwhelming scents and replace them with inviting ones like cinnamon or lavender.
More information is available online at www.aer1system.com.
(NC)-Custom renovations are often a great way to put your family's personal stamp on a home. However, you may want to reconsider if you plan on installing something as unique as an indoor waterslide.
"There is nothing wrong with transforming your home to reflect your family's style," says Carlo Racioppo, a broker with Royal LePage. "But whether your plan is to stay or sell in the future it is important to keep in mind that customizations do not always have a positive effect on the value of your home."
Racioppo recommends the following five tips to consider when customizing your home.
• Avoid extravagant personal touches. Before choosing to install built-in aquariums, bold wallpaper patterns or green marble countertops, remember that over-the-top personal touches can potentially decrease the value of your home.
• Stay away from outdoor spaces that are not climate appropriate. In Canada the majority of us can only utilize our backyards for half the year. Additions like outdoor kitchens or tennis courts might be something to reconsider.
• Beware of changing a room's function. Sometimes the easiest way to decrease the value of a home is to decrease the number of bedrooms. Consider how difficult it may be for future homeowners if you plan on changing a bedroom into a theatre room or home office.
• Reconsider the thought of having a pool. If having a pool will please your entire family, then by all means get one. But bear in mind a pool will never add monetary value to your home. Pools require maintenance and can be a safety concern for small children. These are issues homebuyers may not want to deal with.
• Think twice about turning your garage into a "man cave." There is no harm in turning your garage into an entertainment den but if you ever plan on moving, keep in mind the majority of potential buyers may prefer a useful garage.
More information about home renovations is available online at www.royallepage.ca.