When you have a home on the market and start cleaning out the rooms and making everything presentable, one area that often gets overlooked is the garage. In fact, the garage sometimes ends up looking worse as it’s used as a storage spot for items from other areas of the home.
The problem with this centers around the fact that many buyers care about the garage, and if they don’t see a place where they can envision parking their car, setting up a workspace or storing their own stuff, it could put a damper on a possible sale.
After all, a cluttered or messy garage may send the wrong message to a prospective buyer, as it’s next to impossible to visualize what a garage can offer if all buyers see are old boxes, oily floors and junk piled everywhere.
However, a clean garage can subconsciously imply that you take better than average care of your home. It may also give a feeling of newness to a property.
Start by getting rid of everything you don’t need. For years, the garage has probably been the dumping ground for old clothes, unused gym equipment and broken toys and appliances. Either donate things to a local charity, hold a garage sale, sell things on Craigslist, or put it all on the curb for pickup. The idea is to minimize the best you can.
While you don’t have to remove everything, you should organize your belongings. Start by getting a bunch of cartons or crates and storing everything neatly. This means putting all your holiday decorations together, placing your garden tools in one spot and putting all those trash bags full of nicely folded clothes inside a container.
Lighting is vital to a garage, as most tend to be dull and drab. Replace light bulbs in all the fixtures with the highest wattage allowed, and if the only light operates on a pull string, replace it so that it’s not dull. If your garage has windows, keep them clean so the light shines in.
If you really want to go all out, some larger upgrades include adding industrial flooring, painting the walls and ceiling and replacing any parts of the garage door that are rusty and not working properly. Also, if you have an automatic garage opener, check to make sure the batteries work.
While it’s true that no one is probably looking at photos of the garage when they do their initial search for homes they want to visit, once a house hunter comes in and sees your dreamy garage, it could be the final factor in selling your home.
California families are facing a severe housing affordability crisis. Unfortunately, Prop 10 is a deeply flawed measure that will make our housing crisis worse.
Regardless of whether you are a buyer or seller, there’s no greater feeling than when the papers are signed and the whole real estate transaction is complete. For buyers, it means the beginning of a new life in a new home, and for sellers, it represents a time to say goodbye to the old and move on to the next chapter of their lives. Either scenario deserves a celebration.
It’s not uncommon for a REALTOR® to congratulate the buyer on their new home with a bottle of champagne. If so, don’t just put it in the fridge and save it for a special occasion. You have a new home—it doesn’t get much more special than that.
Order food from your favorite restaurant and pop the bubbly and enjoy a fun, first night in the home with your family. Or invite some friends over for a pot-luck (since you probably won’t have much food yet!) and enjoy the occasion with your first party.
If you have kids, hold a game night in your first week and try to start a new tradition by playing at a certain time in a certain room each week. You can even get a delicious dessert to mark the inaugural event.
For those moving to a new area, it’s hard to have a party since you don’t know anyone yet, but within a week or so, you should be getting to know some neighbors. Celebrate your new neighborhood by hosting a low-key barbecue. Set up some horseshoes or corn hole on the lawn and just enjoy a casual day with those you hope to be your new trusted friends.
For sellers, it’s time for you to celebrate moving on to a new home. If you’ve lived in the neighborhood a while and have a lot of friends, host a get-together at the local bar or restaurant and just ask people to come on by and raise a glass of wine to toast your time there. It’s a great way to say goodbye.
Maybe you have some time before you’re moving to your next place. If so, take a trip and relieve some of the stress that has built up over the time your house was on the market. Visit family or just take a short cruise and unwind.
Remember, being involved in a house sale is one of the most memorable moments of your life and you should take the time to appreciate and celebrate it!
There are a multitude of things house hunters need to consider before choosing a home, such as price, location, schools, distance to work—the list goes on and on.
Most homebuyers may not think about the costs and rules associated with buying a house that’s part of a homeowners’ association; however, it is an issue they may run across.
For those unfamiliar, a homeowner’s association (HOA) is a legal entity that manages a shared housing complex—that doesn’t just mean a condo or a series of town homes. In some cases, it includes a suburban housing development with shared space or a specific neighborhood.
If a home is part of an HOA, the information should be available right in the MLS. You can always ask your REALTOR® to be sure. The last thing you want is an unexpected fee tied to your home purchase.
Though the costs vary, most HOAs collect monthly dues and the money is earmarked to fund activities or repairs for fellow participants. This could include things like block parties or lawn maintenance.
Keep in mind that you can’t “choose” to be excluded from an HOA. If you buy a home that has one, you’re required to be part of it and pay the dues. The structure of an association can vary, depending on the total number of members, but most have a president, treasurer and some elected board members.
When you’re part of an HOA, there are rules you must follow. And depending on how strict yours is, it can be a pain. For instance, there may be a rule about what color you can paint your door, or the type of mailbox you can have, or even where you must place your garbage pails. If you consistently break the rules, you can be fined or, worse, make enemies with those in the neighborhood.
While there are benefits to buying a home that’s part of an HOA, you should still understand the requirements before deciding to buy.