As spring starts to blossom in the Pacific Northwest, it’s also a time when people consider buying a home. Moving at the end of spring allows for families to get adjusted after the end of the current school year and before the next. The following spring home selling tips are unique to the spring and are much different than the tips to sell your home in other seasons.

Spring Home Selling Tips

Spring Cleaning

Many people take advantage of the better weather and longer days in order to tackle their spring cleaning chore list. For the main entry make sure you dust the lights, clean the baseboards, clean the entire front door and shine the knob on both sides. For the living room, wipe the walls, ceiling, and do a deep vacuum and sweep. If the windows have any blinds, use a gentle solution to clean the dirt off of the blinds. In the bathroom it’s important to clean vanities, de-clutter the top of the sink, clean the tile and glass to the shower, and re-grout if necessary. Finally, in the kitchen, go through the refrigerator and clean out any old items. Deep clean the stove top and oven, getting rid of any grease that’s been caked on. Focusing on deep cleaning your home is something that you should do every spring, and is one of the most important spring home selling tips!

Lawn Care

Since the sun starts to shine in the spring in the Pacific Northwest, it’s important to make the lawn, walkway and front door look as good as you can. Developing a good first impression can improve your chances of selling since you’ll draw more people in to tour your home if your front area looks appealing. Additionally, it’s important to clean your gutters, mow your lawn and cut shrubs down, and sweep away any debris on your walkway. Finally, it’s important to pay attention to colors of your plant pots, flowers, and house. You’ll want to make sure all the color complements the exterior of the home so the front of your home is pleasing to look at.

Choose The Right Agent

Your real estate agent will be responsible for various things throughout the selling process so it’s important to choose wisely. The right agent can also advice listing at the correct time, and picking the right price. Additionally, a strong agent will have knowledge on recent home sales in your neighborhood, distinguishing characteristics of your property that make your home more valuable, and outside variable that affect price.

You may also like: Upgrades to Make Before You Sell

While yes we all have the dream to decorate every inch of our home for the holidays, time and money don’t always allow that to happen. You’ve still go shopping and wrapping to do, not to mention your everyday life to live. Here are 4 ways to simply decorate for the holidays with a big impact.

How to Simply Decorate For The Holidays

Target The Tree

Your Christmas tree will be the center of attention in your home, so it makes sense to spend time and energy into nicely decorating it. For an easy, simple look, go with a monochromatic color scheme. This could mean a white flocked tree with crème and blush ornaments, or a green tree with silver ornaments and garland. Using a monochromatic scheme also coordinates with any room décor which eliminates the worry of balancing a color palette.

Mantle Magic

Simply decorating your mantle can complement the tree and bring holiday cheer. Choose a statement making garland to drape across the mantle. A good tip is to coordinate with the type of tree you’ve chosen, so if you have a flocked tree then go with a flocked garland. Then add some candles on the mantle to light at night, giving your fireplace a warm white color. Keeping the mantle simple will add elegance without having to spend a bunch of extra money on knick knacks.

Table Top

Focusing on the table top is key in simply decorating for the holidays. The holidays are a prime time for entertaining, so you want to make the gathering dining area festive. Adding another garland to your table as a table runner can do wondering for adding the seasonal flair to your table. Then you can add candles or ornaments along the garland to bring in the extra pop of color.

Front Porch

The front porch is visible by your guests as well as any car driving by. Consider adding a simple wreath to your door and some lights to your home. Adding décor that is visible in the day and night will serve as dual purpose. Additionally, if you’ve chosen to go with a monochromatic color scheme inside your home, consider going with a monochromatic color scheme outside as well. So, if you have a flocked tree inside, add some white lights to the outside of your home to tie your décor all together. This will also maintain the simple yet elegant décor feel to your home.

You may also like: 5 Simple Ways to Decorate Your PNW Backyard

One of the biggest new year’s resolutions for homeowners is to clean up and organize the home. There is a proven correlation between clutter and stress, so homeowner’s want to minimize the stress to start the new year right. Here are 5 home organization tips for a stress-free start to 2020.

Home Organization Tips To Start The New Year Right

Start in One Place

While it can be overwhelming to tackle organizing an entire house, the best way to begin is to start in one place. Start organizing in the room that causes you the most stress, or the room that guests see first upon entering. When you start with one cabinet in one room, and get in a groove, the rest of the house doesn’t seem so daunting.

Use Creative Storage Solutions

Look for wasted space that can be turned into storage. For example, if you have a small living room but need to make room for toys and blankets, consider investing in a storage ottoman to hide the clutter. Additionally, with limited space, another way to organize is to use stacking shelves that have cubes to hide your items. This way the toys are easily accessible but are not an eye sore when you walk into the room.

Get Rid of What You don’t Need

If you are going to take the time to organize and de-clutter, you might as well get rid of unwanted items at the same time! Homeowners often keep 80% of items they never use, so be picky when it comes to keeping items! Whether you decide to garage sale or donate your unused items, removing items you don’t use is a great step in the decluttering process.

Arrange by Frequency of Use

It only makes sense to put seasonal decorations in the back of the storage room since you only need them for a short period once a year. By keeping these in the back, you aren’t having to move these boxes every time you need the vacuum. If you use an item every day, make sure it’s easily accessible and at eye level. Constantly grabbing things from the back may derail your organization plan.

Take Your Time

Don’t expect to organize and de-clutter your home over night. Take your time and sort in an effective way so you’ll only have to do this once a year, not once a month!

You may also like: How to Create a Pet Friendly Home

2019 has officially begun, and with the new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. Being more active, saving more money, and organizing your life are common resolutions, but what about goals for your home? Here are 4 essential New Year’s resolutions for home owners.

4 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Owners

Start an emergency fund

One of the most essential New Year’s resolutions for home owners is to start an emergency fund. The idea of setting aside $100 cash every month to put in an emergency fund sounds doable, but often falls on people’s “will do later” list. But what happens if you’re faced with a life changing event where you need access to cash? This year, look at your finances and pick a monthly amount to set aside for your emergency fund. You could save over $1,000 in just one year by staying consistent in putting money aside. You’ll be so happy you did if/when the time comes.

Create a disaster kit

Your home is your castle, but it’s not indestructible. If you haven’t already, create a disaster kit to store in your garage so you’re ready to grab it and go should an emergency happen. A disaster kit that includes financial documents, copies of passports, and a home inventory will speed up recovery if disaster hits. Additionally, it’s a good idea to place at least 3 days of canned food in your disaster kit, along with emergency medical supplies so you’re set for a few days.

Budget for home improvements

Most homeowners have goals of what they want to improve in their home, even those who buy brand new homes. This year budget for one or two large projects so you’re able to make progress on this goal list. These large projects may be replacing roofing, kitchen appliances, or adding a living space onto the back of your home. By achieving one or two of these this year, you’ll stay motivated to keep finishing projects throughout the next few years, and with the right budget to do so.

De-clutter

If you feel like you’re running out of storage in your home, it is time to go through each room and de-clutter. Spend a day in each room and create 3 piles: keep, donate, and sell. Once you’ve made your way through your home, combine all the donate items and drive them to a Goodwill or Salvation Army. Once you have all your sell items in a pile, host a garage sale, or sell online via Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist. You’ll find your life less stressful when you get rid of all the unwanted clutter!

You may also like: Benefits of a Smaller Home

Fall is a good time to take care of home cleaning projects you didn’t want to do when the days were sunny and long in the summer. Take some time this fall to give your home some TLC with this fall home maintenance checklist.

Fall Home Maintenance Checklist

Care for trees and shrubs

If you have trees on your property, fall is the time where you’ll need to trim the trees and rake the leaves off the ground. Fall is also a good time to keep an eye out on your trees to make sure that the trees don’t show signs of disease. These signs include early change in leaf color, pines looking thin and sparse, and needles turning brown.

Clean gutters

One of the most important items on the fall home maintenance checklist is checking the gutters. Either hire a professional to clean your gutters, or clean them yourself on a clear weekend. Try to avoid scheduling the cleaning on a rainy weekend since it’ll just make the job more difficult. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your siding.

Seal exterior gaps

Take a walk around your home and take note of any small gaps where a rodent could enter your home. Mice only need a tiny gap to enter your home and raid your pantry. With the cold winter on it’s way, many small animals will be making their way to warm places to make a home during the cold weather.

Stock up on winter supplies

Make sure you have an ice scraper for each of your cars. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you are running late to a meeting and have to wait an extra 15 minutes for your car to manually defrost. Also, restock emergency kits for your car and home if needed. Additionally, to prepare for the snow, make sure you have a snow shovel on hand so you’re able to exit your driveway. The main streets may get shoveled by the city but your driveway doesn’t.

Check safety devices

Another one of the most important tasks on the fall home maintenance checklist is to test smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors around your home. As the weather gets cooler, and windows stay shut more often, radon is more likely to become trapped in your home. If you find that you have unhealthy levels of radon in your home, hire a contractor qualified to fix radon issues.

Deep clean the kitchen

How long has it been since you truly deep cleaned your kitchen? Probably too long. Take the cozy time in the fall to tackle some of the more laborious kitchen cleaning tasks. These tasks include cleaning the oven, scrubbing tile grout, washing the walls, washing the garbage/recycling bins, and cleaning light fixtures. When the busy holiday season comes where you have a bunch of family visiting at all times, you’ll be glad you took the time to make your kitchen sparkle.

You may also like: 4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Just like the seasons of the year, there are different real estate seasons that bring opportunities for home buyers. The spring market blooms along with the flowers, while the fall months dwindle with the leaves. This slower pace could be an advantage for home buyers. If you’re in the market for a new home, here are 4 reasons to buy a home this fall.

4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Fall

Deals on old inventory

Often times, sellers choose to put their home on the market in the spring, often listing their home too high. If their home isn’t selling, this could result in price reductions over the summer months. By October, if they still haven’t sold their home, they become desperate and potentially price below a home’s market value. So just because you’re not buying in the busiest home buying season, doesn’t mean you don’t get the benefits.

Fewer buyers

Perhaps one of the greatest reasons to buy a home this fall is because there are fewer homes competing in the home search. Families who want to be in their new home by the beginning of the school year will have wrapped up their home buying process a couple months ago. This means less competition and more opportunity for buyers. Additionally, in really busy home buying seasons, often times home buyers will find themselves under pressure to make a decision within hours. When there is less competition, the pressure isn’t so intense for home buyers.

Sellers want to close by end of year

Just like any other asset, a home is an investment with tax consequences. A home seller may want to take advantage of a tax gain or loss so you might see them pushing for a close date before December 31. As a home buyer, ask why the seller is selling, and look for listings that offer incentives to close by the end of the year. This way you can use their urgency to your benefit and come out with $3,000 credit in closing costs or a brand new washer/dryer/refrigerator set.

Harsher weather shows home’s true colors

In the summer months, every home looks great since there is a bunch of natural sunlight, and the front and back yard are looking green as ever. In the fall and winter months, you’re able to see any flaws revealed with the home. As a home buyer, it’s better to see a home’s flaws before making an offer, instead of being surprised and disappointed in the future months.

You may also like: 5 First Time Home Buyer Mistakes.