Think Twice About Not Paying
What EXACTLY is a Mechanics Lien?
How Mechanics Liens Work
How to Protect Against Mechanics Liens
Some Important Distinctions
Don’t leave your home out of the Valentine’s Day fun — send it a love note or two with these quick tips.
When February rolls around, we’re often thinking of little ways to show our loved ones how special they are to us. Why not take the opportunity to do the same for your home?
While you can’t send your home a box of chocolates or a card, there are plenty of things you can do to show it a little love this Valentine’s Day.
These simple changes can make a huge difference in how you see and enjoy your home — and make it easier to sell when the time comes.
Just like buying a new ensemble usually lifts your spirits, purchasing something you love for your home will instantly put you in a great mood.
Buy that gorgeous vintage door you’ve been eyeing online (after carefully measuring, of course). Upgrade the curtains the previous owner left behind, buy something colorful and cheery to change the room’s look, or take the plunge and finally purchase that department store rug.
Cultivating great style in your home doesn’t usually happen overnight, but occasionally purchasing items that that make you happy will eventually result in a space you love.
When you first looked at your home, you might have said something like, “This would be a great space for entertaining.” Since moving in, however, have you actually entertained in your home?
If you haven’t (or if it’s been awhile), consider hosting a potluck or a casual dinner with friends and family.
But don’t think you have to scrub the floors for three days and prepare a feast. There’s no need to get too fancy when you host — all you really need is great friends, lively conversation, and good food. Make a menu, choose the music, and hang some string lights or light some candles to create a festive atmosphere.
If mortgage rates are down and you’re interested in lowering your monthly payments, you might want to consider refinancing your home.
Though saving money on your mortgage is the most obvious reason to refinance, many homeowners choose to refinance so they can change from an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) to a fixed-rate mortgage. This can make payments more predictable and less dependent on how the market is doing.
Knowing that you are making the best financial decisions when it comes to your home will ultimately make you happier to be there.
Reviewing your home insurance policy may not be the most exciting way to spend an evening, but it’s a good way to make sure there aren’t any obvious gaps in your coverage.
Read your policy carefully. Are you overly insured? Or are you overpaying for the amount of coverage you’re getting? Remember that standard coverage often doesn’t often pay for flood or earthquake damage, so check your policy and understand what’s covered in the rare case of a disaster.
If you find areas for improvement, shop around for a new insurance company or work with your existing provider to create a plan that makes you feel more prepared and secure. Understanding the ins and outs of your insurance policy is the best way to look after your pocketbook — and it will likely help you sleep better at night, too.
A home is more than just a roof over your head — it’s a place that’s meant to be loved and enjoyed. Try some of these quick tips this weekend, and you’re sure to fall in love with your home even more.
When you’re building or renovating a home, having the right team on your side makes all the difference.
Building or renovating a home is a complex project with plenty of moving parts. Even if you’re planning to take a DIY approach, it’s likely you’ll need some help from contractors along the way. Here’s a guide to the types of contractors you might enlist to help you complete your dream home.
If you think of a general contractor like a general in the military, you have the basic idea of what a general contractor does. Like a general leading a military campaign, a general contractor organizes the strategy of a building or remodeling project. The general contractor decides when to bring in the plumbers, electricians, and roofers; makes sure they do their jobs correctly; and checks details, like ensuring that the carpenters install the porch handrails according to code.
Especially if there is no architect involved, the general contractor ensures that the building permits are in order and that the project is legal — meaning that it is being done to city or country building codes. (If it isn’t, your city’s building inspectors will make you redo it. Ouch!) Like a military general who is ultimately responsible for the success of a campaign, the general contractor is responsible for the outcome of remodeling project.
Subcontractors are specialists who work under the direction of the general contractor. Subcontractors include plumbers, electricians, tile setters, carpenters, framers, roofers, painters and cabinetmakers, among others.
Ideally, they show up at your construction or remodeling project when they are needed. If the subcontractors are reliable and efficient, the pace of your project continues to move steadily along, and it is finished when it is supposed to be. If all that happens, it is usually because a good general contractor has been overseeing their work.
Homeowners who are skilled at organizing multimillion-dollar sales campaigns at their office or at running three local volunteer organizations in their spare time sometimes like to act as their own general contractors. There is no law that says you can’t. As a rule of thumb, general contractors charge about 15 to 20 percent of the total cost of the job, so acting as your own general contractor can save money.
But before you leap into the general contractor role, consider whether you really have the time, expertise, and patience to run a remodeling project, especially a complicated one. How much time can you spend on site? Can you take phone calls at unexpected times of the day?
The one thing you can count on with any remodel is that something will go wrong at some point. It may not be a big deal, but it will mean making new arrangements, often on short notice, and rearranging schedules for subcontractors and suppliers.
This could mean dozens of phone calls in a single afternoon. It could mean running around hunting down some piece of hardware or building material that is needed on site right now. If this sounds like fun, you may have what it takes to act as your own general contractor.
An alternative to hiring a general contractor or acting as your own is to hire a design/build firm. Design/build firms are companies that offer start-to-finish building and remodeling services. They employ architects or designers as well as the skilled builders.
A design/build firm essentially offers the services of architect, general contractor, and subcontractors. The obvious advantage to using these firms is that the entire project should be a fairly smooth operation, since the firm takes responsibility for everything.
While general contractors, subs, and independent architects can, in the worst scenarios, blame each other for mishaps and toss the responsibility for correcting the mishaps back and forth, design/build firms know the buck stops with them. They have to make it right.
If your home improvement project really is as straightforward as installing a wall of built-in bookshelves in your living room, your best bet is probably to find a good carpenter or cabinetmaker.
People who bill themselves as handymen may be fine at installing new light switches or doing minor carpentry, but, as always, ask to see some of their work. If you want your new bookshelves to look like elegant additions to your living room, find an expert in cabinetry.
Many plants represent a threat to Fido and Fluffy. Protect them with these tips from our gardening expert.
Gardens are wonderful places for pets. They provide entertainment, room to exercise and cool shade in the afternoon. However, many of the most common and seemingly innocuous garden plants are also poisonous to your furry friends.
The apples and oranges we humans enjoy, almost all flowering bulbs and some of the most popular houseplants all share one thing in common: They are dangerously toxic to cats and dogs.
Plants ranked ninth on the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (ASPCA’s) list of top pet toxins in 2017. Roughly 5 percent of calls made to the organization’s Animal Poison Control Center involved landscaping plants, houseplants and bouquets.
Before we even cover the poisonous plants, let’s focus on the biggest dangers. Insecticides ranked seventh on the ASPCA list, and lawn and garden products came in 10th. Keep all chemicals out of reach, and if you’re getting your lawn sprayed, allow at least a day before letting your pet on the grass.
Many plants are poisonous or otherwise dangerous to pets, but luckily there are many more that are completely safe. Here are some toxic plants to avoid, followed by safe alternatives. This list is just an introduction and is by no means exhaustive, so refer to the ASPCA website to search for the plant in question.
|Bulbs||Caladium, calla lily, tulip, daffodil, iris, narcissus, crinum, amaryllis, dahlia, lily of the valley, crocus||Canna, muscari, Scarborough lily, ginger|
| Annuals and
|Arum, elephant ear, begonia, sweet pea, coleus, bird of paradise, cyclamen, hellebore, hosta, lantana, chrysanthemum, morning glory, asparagus fern, geranium. Lilies and daylilies are toxic to cats but nontoxic to dogs.||Aster, fern, marigold, gerber daisy, snapdragon, hollyhock, ornamental grasses, nasturtium, nerve plant, petunia, sunflower|
|Holly, rhododendron, azalea, oleander, sago palm, citrus (lemons, oranges, etc.), apple, apricot, peach, cherry, yucca, black walnut, yew, gardenia, nandina, wisteria||Crepe myrtle, bottlebrush, aralia, hawthorn, pittosporum, mulberry, magnolia, mahonia, rose, hickory, bamboo, banana|
|Vegetables||Tomato, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, grape||Cucumber, squash, melon, okra, zucchini|
|Houseplants||Dieffenbachia, Swiss cheese plant, Chinese evergreen, dracaena, pothos, ficus, anthurium, aloe, desert rose, kalanchoe, snake plant, euphorbia, asparagus fern, schefflera||Calathea, areca palm, cast iron plant, Christmas cactus, spider plant, episcia, false aralia, orchid, bromeliad, peperomia, echeveria, haworthia, sempervivum, gynura, plectranthus|
If you’re unsure of the toxicity of a certain plant in your garden, refer to the ASPCA website to find out.
While you needn’t tear apart your garden to keep poisonous plants off your dog’s menu, you should definitely educate yourself so you can make your own informed decisions.
Remove risky plants, transplant them to pet-free areas of the garden or, if the plant is too big (or special) to easily remove, make it inaccessible to your pet with fencing.
Just remember that even fallen leaves or seedpods are also often poisonous, so acquaint yourself with the symptoms your pet might experience following ingestion so you know what to tell the vet.
You might not need to go out and remove a foundation planting of azaleas tomorrow, but it isn’t that big of a deal to replace your toxic aloe plant with a nontoxic (and more attractive) haworthia.
If your pet shows any worrying symptoms, don’t waste time looking at lists like these. Call your vet or visit the ASPCA poison control hotline website immediately.
Top photo from Offset.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.
Originally published June 25, 2015.
Before you dive into renovating your family room or kitchen, you’ll need to know which projects give the best return on investment. That helps you make better choices for the biggest increase in your home’s value.
Kitchen renovations and finished basements and attics are the big winners here, accounting for as much as 10% to 15% of the total value of your home, according to CNN Money. Bathrooms lag behind slightly, accounting for 5% to 15% of property value, but smaller baths such as powder rooms or half baths contribute less.
Use these percentages, and any others that you can find, as guidelines when planning for home improvement projects. If your living room or bedroom is so sad and dated that you can’t imagine living with it for one more day, personal satisfaction can trump ROI to a certain extent.
Costs Related to Typical Projects
Americans love their kitchen renovations. So much so, the Huffington Post says four out of ten renovation dollars has been spent on kitchens in recent years. The trend is expected to continue. On average, kitchen makeovers cost just under $30,000. This includes flooring, new appliances, lighting, cabinetry, countertops, and labor for anything that you can replace without a full alteration of the room’s footprint.
Consumer Reports says the average bathroom renovation comes in at about $16,000, including labor. The big-ticket considerations are cabinets, plumbing and plumbing fixtures, and flooring.
The median costs of some other home-improvement projects are listed by Remodeling Magazine as follows:
Where to Cut Back and Save
There are places to splurge, and places you can pinch pennies without losing much quality. One big way to save is to perform as much of the labor yourself as possible. You can paint and hang wallpaper, more than likely, but brave DIY folks are also learning to set tile, install new light and plumbing fixtures, and lay hardwood and laminate floors.
Areas where you’ll want to hire out labor might be major plumbing and electrical, structural changes, replacing windows, installing cabinets, and replacing siding or the roof.
A surprising way to save money is by hiring an interior designer, even if it’s only for an hour or two. A designer offers professional home improvement advice, which can save money since you’ll make the best choices the first time. Even the wrong color of paint can add up if you have to paint a room twice.
If you really want to be frugal, consider a few of these options:
Fitting Everything into Your Budget
Once you know what you want, start a goal account in your budget to avoid putting anything on credit. The benefit of this method is twofold. You’ll avoid costly interest payments, and the time it takes to save lets you shop for the best bargains. When you buy on credit, it’s tempting to buy the first thing that strikes your fancy.
The bigger your goal, the more time you’ll need to save for it. Start making budget adjustments now, and you’ll reach that goal sooner. Turn down the thermostat, cut out unnecessary spending, and hold off on buying that new car. Any areas of your budget where you can trim off the fat will beef up your eventual renovation.
Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ve got, and you owe it to yourself to make improvements that will increase its value as well as your enjoyment. Take your time. Instead of opening a new credit card account at your local big box store, squirrel away money and make smart purchases.
Mint.com can help you reach your home-improvement goals. With budget software that lets you track spending as well as savings, you can redirect money to where it has the biggest effect.
Sign up for your free account today.
Working from home has multiple perks, not the least of which is the short commute to your home office in your PJs. (Yes, it’s a cliché, and yes, it happens.)
But while you might be incredibly talented at designing websites, writing novels, or whatever it is you do during your 9-to-5 at home, nearly all of us have the potential to get tripped up during tax time.
Granted, working from home—either part time or full time—provides plenty of ways to save on taxes. But within those opportunities lie pitfalls galore (especially now that the new Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is in full swing), and they could lead to an IRS audit.
To help you stay in the clear when filing for the 2020 tax year, here’s a rundown of these six tax mistakes people often make when they work from home.
If you work from home for a larger corporation (if you receive a W-2, that’s you), you cannot deduct the costs associated with a home office. Sorry, telecommuters!
And for all you W-2 employees stuck working at home during the coronavirus pandemic? You don’t qualify for this deduction either. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act removed the home office deduction for workers who conduct business at home but still have a full-time employer.
Self-employed individuals, however, can still take the deduction, provided they have a dedicated, work-only space. (See below.)
Some of the best perks of being self-employed and working from home are the many deductions you can take for various expenses. However, a few are commonly overlooked, says Josh Zimmelman, owner of Westwood Tax & Consulting in New York City.
For instance, many don’t realize that they can deduct the percentage of their internet, landline, and utilities that are used for work.
Those who work from home can also deduct transportation costs to outside meetings, dues for professional development, and regulatory fees or licenses paid to state or local governments. So if you use any of those, make sure to add them to the heap!
On the other hand, some self-employed folks put themselves at risk of an audit by trying to write off bogus expenses, Zimmelman cautions.
“In order for an expense to be deductible, it must be ‘ordinary and necessary’ to run your business,” he says.
Just because you’re at home while you work doesn’t mean you can write off that fancy new espresso maker, for example; nor should you write off lunch with your spouse at that bistro down the street (unless you’re in business together, and it was a working lunch).
Working from home doesn’t automatically mean you can deduct a portion of your rent (or monthly mortgage fees) for the square footage you devote to a home office.
There are two main criteria for legally using this deduction, says Jason Miller, tax manager at Nussbaum Yates Berg Klein & Wolpow in New York City.
Too many work-from-home professionals miss out on deductions because their finances are in serious disarray, Zimmelman finds. An easy solution is to carefully track business spending by setting up separate checking, savings, and credit card accounts.
You also need to keep meticulous records of what equipment is used for business activities and what is personal. So, for example, if you have one cellphone for both professional and personal use, you can deduct a percentage of the expenses on your tax return, based on the percentage of use.
“You’ll need detailed call logs or other documentation to back that up,” he says.
Do you blithely toss receipts because you consider your credit card statement to be adequate proof of your expenditures? You could be in trouble if you’re one of the unlucky people to get audited.
“The IRS will not accept credit card statements as backup, because they do not show itemized details of what was purchased,” says Miller.
For example, say you have a charge from an office supply store for $1,500 on your credit card. The IRS cannot determine whether the purchases were for legitimate office needs or whether you were buying computer components for your teen.
Plus, remember that in an audit, the burden of proof still remains on the taxpayer to prove or substantiate expenses. So keep saving those receipts! Apps abound, so you don’t have to stuff them in a shoebox; there’s even one called Shoeboxed, which scans and saves receipts for future reference.
Watch: Sold a Home? Don’t Miss These Tax Deductions
For more smart financial news and advice, head over to MarketWatch.
Deciding to do any major renovation in your home can be overwhelming because of all of the available choices. This is especially true when it comes to choosing the right kind of flooring. Not only do you have to take material, styles and colors into consideration, but overall cost, installation, and most importantly, durability, as well. Now, if you’re social distancing and looking for home projects to do, updating your home’s flooring might be the route to take as it’s often overlooked. Thankfully, there is a product taking the flooring world by storm, but still has many wondering if it’s too good to be true– vinyl plank flooring.
There’s no denying that vinyl plank flooring costs a fraction of what you would pay for hardwood or tile flooring. Not just for the actual product itself, but also the cost for installation because it’s not as labor intensive as other flooring options. Vinyl plank flooring can range between $2 and $7 per square foot while hardwood can range between $8 and $15.
Vinyl plank flooring snaps together and floats on top of the subfloor. It does not require any nails or glue and can easily be cut with a utility knife. Vinyl plank flooring can potentially be installed over existing flooring or subfloor, depending on the condition and type of floor. For example, if you install vinyl plank flooring over tile, and the material is too thin, you could end up with subfloor telegraphing. This is where the grout lines sort of emboss themselves on the flooring above. There are ways to prevent this, so be sure to read manufacture recommendations should you choose to install over tile flooring. Since vinyl plank flooring is so easy to install, it is definitely appealing to new and experienced do-it-yourself homeowners. Vinyl plank flooring comes ready to install and doesn’t require acclimating like other flooring choices.
Unlike hardwood and laminate flooring, vinyl plank flooring is virtually waterproof and scratch resistant. Which makes vinyl plank flooring the perfect option when installing in basements, homes with a pool, or any area where moisture could be an issue. Vinyl plank flooring is especially ideal for those with pets and/or kids where wear and tear is inevitable. Vinyl plank flooring is also temperature consistent to the room that it’s in making it more enjoyable to walk across, even in cooler months, and doesn’t require any in floor heating or cooling.
Vinyl plank flooring comes in a variety of colors and styles. It can look like real wood flooring with actual woodgrain, tile, slate, and vary in sizes and pattern options. This gives homeowners the look and functionality they desire to update their spaces.
While vinyl plank flooring seems like the hands down logical choice, there are some downsides to consider as well.
In the market for new flooring and intrigued by vinyl plank flooring myself, we recently installed this flooring in our master bedroom to find out if it was up to the hype. You can read all about why we chose vinyl plank flooring for our own home and my thoughts on the installation process.
Vinyl plank flooring has come a long way and has quickly become a homeowner favorite for updating floors, despite some of the minor drawbacks . The ease of installation, durability, and overall cost makes it a great choice when compared to other flooring options. The most important thing is to research all available flooring options and determine what your overall goal is for your home. If you’re looking for something that is going to give you the updated style you desire, with practical durability, and is budget friendly, vinyl plank flooring is for you.
The New Year is the time for a fresh start. It brings a feeling of starting over, and an opportunity to improve all areas of your life. In the New Year, take some time to complete projects you’ve been putting off for months. You can create an even better home for you and your family by decluttering and organizing your home.
Follow these tips for easy and quick ways to de-clutter your home.
1. Keep things at arms reach: Keep items you use daily somewhere where they can be easily reached, whether that’s in a basket, on a shelf, or in a cabinet. Store everything that is used sparingly on a higher shelf or in the garage or attic. It will be easier to find what you need when you need it.
2. Add shelves: If your home is cluttered adding more furniture won’t help. Instead of adding a bookshelf or desk, add wall shelving. You’ll have room for books, picture frames, paperwork, and even a television without cluttering your home with more furniture.
3. 12-12-12 Challenge: This challenge comes from BecomingMinimalist.com, and is a simple project to add to your routine. Clean and organize by choosing 12 items to throw away, 12 items to donate, and 12 to return to a proper place in your home. This helps you organize, declutter, and give to a good cause all at the same time!
4. Garage storage: Make your garage your main storage area. Use old dressers and other furniture to store seasonal items and items you don’t use daily. Paint the furniture the same color to create a unified look.
5. Get rid of broken items: There’s no point in keeping items that are broken or unused, they’re just taking up precious space in your home. If you haven’t used it or gotten it fixed in the past six months, you probably never will. Throw it out or donate it to make room for something new.
6. Use things up: It’s a habit to save special items for special occasions, whether it’s fancy bath soap or an expensive spice. Stop saving these things for the right time, use them and enjoy them now. Use what you have before you buy something new to help keep clutter at bay.
7. Deal with one room at a time: Take it step by step. Organize and declutter one room at a time, makes it easier to focus on the task at hand. If you try to juggle too many rooms at once, it may never get done.
Go through these tasks every few months to help maintain an organized home. A decluttered home can give you and your family peace of mind – and room for something new.
There is no denying that more and more homeowner’s are trying their hand at do-it-yourself (DIY) projects, to turn their house into a home. Before jumping into any project or using a tool, often for the first time, it’s vital to make safety a top priority. Taking the proper safety measures not only projects yourself, but also those around you and your home.
According to Remodeling Central, these are the five most common accidents that happen when completing a DIY project:
Now that we know this, let’s go ahead and go over some basic ways to protect yourself if you plan on renovating or starting a big, DIY project at home.
If you have longer hair, make sure it’s tied back to not get in the way of your eyesight as well as the potential to get entangled in tools. It may even be a better idea to wear a hat or even a hard hat depending on the type of project you are doing
We’ve only got one set of eyes, so wearing protective eye wear is essential to save your eyeballs from flying debris or chemicals. Whatever it is that you’re working with, wear what type of eye wear is recommended. Even for simple little cuts, don’t miss this step because unfortunately there is no way to know when this sort of injury may occur. If you wear eye glasses, check with your eye care professional to make sure they are rated for this type of work.
Wear appropriate clothing that will protect your skin from whatever it is that you’re doing. Too loose, not enough coverage, or highly flammable materials could put yourself at risk of injury. It’s also important to wear gloves whenever you’re coming into contact with chemicals. Just like with the breathing masks, there are gloves specifically rated for the chemicals you are using. You want to protect your skin as much as possible.
Whenever working with chemicals it is recommended to wear a protective mask. Make sure to read the packaging to ensure you’re wearing the proper mask for the job you’re doing. Some chemicals require a respirator that a regular mask just can’t handle. Wearing protective masks is not limited to just chemicals and paint, it’s also highly recommended for wood working and sanding. Those tiny particles over time can collect in your lungs and airways causing potential life threatening damage.
It cannot be stressed enough to read instructions, pay attention to warning labels, and do your research when attempting any DIY project. There is so much information available out there to help teach homeowners the proper techniques and how to avoid serious injury. If there is still uncertainty, consult with a professional. Doing home improvement projects should bring moments of pride and accomplishment, not trips to the emergency room.
With the spring real estate market heating up across the United States, it’s time to focus on curb appeal. You want your home to stand out from the others, and the exterior will be the first area buyers see. If it’s not in top shape, there’s a good chance buyers will move on to the next home. So make sure you’re trimming the lawn, washing the siding and shining everything else up in preparation for showings. Here are some essential areas to address:
#1 Wash the siding
Your siding probably looks a bit dirty and dusty after this last winter, so it’s time to wash it off and make it look shiny and new for the spring. Use soapy water and a bristled brush to remove dirt and debris. If the grime and dirt won’t come off easily, you may need to use a pressure washer or power washer to remove it. You can rent a pressure washer from a local home improvement store or hire a professional power washer. The cost for exterior power washing ranges from $200 to $400, depending on the time and square footage involved. You should also take this time to wash your garage door, as it will be one of the first things buyers see. Do not use a power washer to clean your windows and doors though, because it could damage them and lead to repair costs.
#2 Revitalize the paint job
Once you’ve cleaned off the siding, it’s time to look at the paint. There’s a chance your home’s exterior will have chips, cracks and other paint issues following winter. To increase the exterior appeal of your home, consider repainting it. You could use the same paint color as before or choose a whole new color.. For a job this big, you may need to hire a painting contractor. Then explore how you can accent the paint job, whether it’s with plants, trim or exterior window treatments.
#3 Fix up the lawn
Given that winter was likely harsh on your landscape, it’s time to get it back in shape for the spring market. You should trim and prune any trees and bushes that took a beating or look overgrown. Add mulch to your flower beds and around trees to give them a professional, well-kept look. Aerate and dethatch your lawn so it can breathe and absorb nutrients more easily. If you have any barren spots in your lawn from snow and ice, add seeds or sod to help renew and cover those areas. If you have the time and budget, think about new spring garden colors in the form of flowers and shrubs.
#4 Add a fence
Another nostalgic, yet high selling point for buyers is a fence around the front of your property. It doesn’t have to be a highly secure fence like those you would add around the backyard. Rather, you could install a picket fence or a short chain link fence around the front yard. This can be especially appealing to families with young children because it helps keep kids safe and enclosed near the home. Installing a fence can range from $1,500 to $4,000, depending on the material you choose and the square footage of the front yard.
#5 Renew the front door
Once people pass through your fence and renewed landscape, they have to open your front door. If your entry door is beaten down, rotting and in bad shape, it sets a bad tone for the rest of the walkthrough. So look at how you can revitalize the door, whether it’s with a thorough cleaning or a paint job. Start by washing it down and then look for chips and cracks in the paint. Depending on the age of the door, it might be time to replace the door. Steel doors are noted as the safest and most effective doors for homeowners, but they are expensive. You might consider an affordable alternative like wood that you can personalize with knobs, windows and colors that complement your home’s interior and exterior design.
#6 Add landscaping lighting
For night walkthroughs, a great addition to your landscape is outdoor lighting. Landscape lights can increase the appeal of your home’s exterior and add security. You can accent trees, shrubs and flower beds at night to attract the buyer’s eye. That way, even though it’s dark outside, they’re still noticing the high points of your landscape. You can use solar fixtures that soak up sunlight during the day and light up at night. Otherwise, you can buy light fixtures that draw on power from the house or use batteries. These decisions depend on your budget and what works best for your landscape design.
#7 Update the mailbox
Mailboxes may seem like a nostalgic idea, but they can add definite appeal to your home, especially if you live in the suburbs. You can get mailboxes at a local home improvement store, and they come in various styles to match your home design. You can also fix up the mailbox you already have, whether it means painting it a new color or adding numbers to the side in the form of stickers or metal decals.