Pierre C. Rumpf | Manchester-by-the-Sea Real Estate, Effex Real Estate, Beverly Real Estate


So, the home is gorgeous, the yard is perfect but inside, your things cover every surface. Whether you’re setting up for an open house, or trying to get the packing done, the last thing you want is clutter complicating the process. Seems easy, right? But getting control of the mess can be harder than it sounds. 

You have plenty of choices: boxes, shelves, under-bench and table storage; so many that it can just make your job harder by creating more clutter. There are lots of television shows, DVDs and self-help books that purport to show you the best ways to organize your life. You don't need to become the model of organization to get your home on the market, merely start with these few simple rules. 

The Rules

Getting control of your clutter can be overwhelming, but you can get through it. 

1. One Step at a Time: It looks like a huge job, but you’ll manage. Just do one part at a time. Start small, say, with the kids’ toys or a junk drawer and work your way through the room. Then move to the next room and repeat. Focus on just the part you’re working and don’t worry about the rest until you get there.

2. Keep Track of the Time: It's easy to get caught up thinking about why everything is important or getting just the right setup on that bookshelf, but it's important to keep yourself going. Limit yourself to short blocks of time, 1-2 hours, and complete a whole block before moving on. For example, start with your junk drawer (come on, everyone has one): get the entire thing sorted out, then move on. That could mean moving on to the next project, but you can also go back to your life. Unless you've left this to the very last minute, don't think you need to get it all done in one day. You can reduce the stress substantially by spreading it out.

3. Give Yourself Enough Time: However long you think this job will take, double it. The doubling rule is a good standard for planning for two reasons: First, you won't be disappointed if it takes longer than you initially thought and second, if you are lucky and get done early you’ll be extra excited!

4. Keep it Simple: Making your de-clutter plans too complicated only slows you down. Use the four box rule: Keep, Give, Discard, Save. The discard box is for anything too used, damaged or otherwise inappropriate for giving away or keeping. Anything from junk to trash goes here. The Keep box is just a temporary spot, use it for things that are staying in the same room, drawer, or shelf. This helps keep them out of the way while you finish sorting anything else. The Save box is similar to the keep box, except these things go in other rooms. Lastly, the give box: this can be things going to friends or family, and should also include anything you want to donate to charity. Charitable donations are a valuable tax break that can help offset some of your other expenses. 

Your clutter is your business, but it’s a good idea to ask your real estate professional about any specific staging needs to help show off your home to potential buyers so you can take care of those items first.


When you move into a house, the aisles of paint at the hardware store can seem awfully overwhelming. How will you ever choose a color for each area of your home? Adding color to a home is part of what will make it your own. One of the last things that you may think of is the color of your front door. Instead of painting the entire exterior of your home, it might be a good idea to look at your front door. 


It’s not a sin to think outside of the box when it comes to the color of your front door. Why not let your house stand out from the crowd? There’s many different colors that pop out and make great additions to any front door. We’ll break down some of the great possibilities for your front door here.


Red


Red is a great color because it goes well with many neutral tones. It brings a bit of life to a sometimes rather bland exterior color of the home. You can put a red door on a home that is a shade of tan, gray, or even white. Keep in mind that there’s also many different shades of red for you to choose from that allow you to find the tone and feel that works for you. 


Yellow Or Orange


You can certainly welcome visitors with a touch of cheeriness right at your front door. Yellow brings a certain kind of warmth to the entrance of your home. Yellow goes well with white, grays, tans, even brick and stone exteriors.


Orange needs to be used carefully. With the right tones surrounding it, you can make use of orange on your front door to make your home a bit more welcoming. Shades of orange work well with grays, blues, greens, and white exteriors. 


Earthy Tones: Green And Blue


Green and blue are great colors to help your home stand out from the crowd and provide a touch of style and warmth right at the front door. There are so many shades of green to choose from. You can go with a light green such as mint or lime. You can also choose a darker shade of green like olive or avocado. 

Green shades on a door pair well with whites, browns, tans, stone, cream, grays, and even shades of blue. 


Blue is often a color that we use more indoors. There’s so many different shades of blue that are available. Blue doors pair well with an exterior that is gray, white, tan, stone, brick, or gray.


You can really use the front door of your home as an element of surprise. When you think of what colors go together, it’s hard to go wrong with a bold front door.


Want to buy a house? If you plan ahead for the homebuying journey, you may be better equipped than ever before to reap the benefits of a seamless homebuying experience.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you prepare for the homebuying journey.

1. Figure Out Where You Want to Live

Do you prefer the hustle and bustle of the big city? Or, would you like to reside in a small town? Think about where you want to live, and you may be able to speed up the homebuying journey.

A homebuyer who narrows his or her search to houses in a set number of cities and towns may be able to quickly discover the ideal residence. Thus, if you know where you want to go, you can act fast to pursue your dream house. And once you find your dream home, it may be only a few weeks before you can finalize a home sale.

2. Obtain a Mortgage

A mortgage generally is a must-have for a homebuyer, regardless of where he or she decides to live. If you submit a mortgage application before you embark on the homebuying journey, you can enter the real estate market with a budget in hand.

Oftentimes, it won't take long to get pre-approved for a mortgage. You can meet with a variety of banks and credit unions, and these financial institutions can teach you about a wide array of mortgage options. Next, you can select a mortgage that satisfies your personal requirements.

When you meet with banks and credit unions, don't hesitate to ask plenty of questions, either. If you receive expert mortgage insights, you can make an informed mortgage decision that likely will serve you well for years to come.

3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent

Let's face it – pursuing a home should be a quick, easy process, but problems may arise that prevent you from buying your ideal residence. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market professionals can help you make your homeownership dreams come true.

A real estate agent is a housing market expert who can teach you how to discover a terrific house at a budget-friendly price. This housing market professional can explain the differences between a buyer's and seller's market and help you map out a successful homebuying journey. That way, you may be able to improve your chances of acquiring a superb residence if you hire a reliable real estate agent.

In addition, a real estate agent will serve as your guide along the homebuying journey. He or she will keep you up to date about new residences that become available, set up home showings and help you submit homebuying proposals. And if you ever have homebuying concerns or questions, a real estate agent is available to respond to them.

Achieve the best-possible results during the homebuying journey – use the aforementioned tips, and you can plan ahead to acquire your ideal residence.


Adding a quality home to the real estate market offers no guarantees. And if you fail to set a competitive initial asking price for your residence, your home may linger on the housing market for many weeks or months. Fortunately, we're here to teach you about the real estate sector and ensure you can use your home's initial asking price to differentiate your residence from the competition.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you establish the right price for your house prior to listing your residence.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The housing market is tough to navigate, particularly for a seller who wants to separate his or her residence from the crowd. Thankfully, an informed home seller can review housing market data and use this information to establish a price range for his or her house.

A home seller who assesses the real estate sector can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one. This seller will collect and analyze housing market data related to the prices of recently sold residences and how long these houses were listed before they sold. Then, this seller can determine whether he or she is preparing to enter a buyer's or seller's market.

2. Conduct a Home Inspection and Appraisal

Although a home inspection usually is requested by a buyer after a seller accepts an offer to purchase, it may be beneficial for a seller to conduct an inspection before listing a home. An inspection enables a seller to identify problem areas in a residence. As a result, a seller can use an inspection report to prioritize home improvement projects, complete home repairs and boost the value of his or her house.

A home appraisal also may prove to be exceedingly valuable to a seller. In fact, an appraisal provides a seller with a property valuation that he or she can use to establish a competitive initial home asking price.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no telling how homebuyers will respond to a new house that becomes available. Lucky for you, a real estate agent can help you plan ahead to list your house and ensure you can establish a competitive price for your home from day one of the property selling journey.

A real estate agent is an expert resource that you can leverage when you sell your house. He or she can help you review housing market data from a variety of sources. Furthermore, a real estate agent can put you in touch with the top home inspectors and appraisers. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of pricing a house and will help you set an initial home asking price that matches buyers' expectations.

When it comes to selling your house and maximizing its value, there is no need to work alone. If you hire a real estate agent today, you can get the help you need to showcase your residence to prospective buyers and boost the likelihood of a profitable home sale.


Have you been unhappy with your garage floor since you moved in, what, five years ago? It seems the previous owner must have used it as a mechanic’s shop. There are all kinds of grease spots and blotches in all sorts of colors. It just feels grungy. You have tried to clean it, but it seems that the stains have deeply embedded in the concrete. There is a simple solution it only takes a little time.

Garage floor paint.

You’ve seen it in magazines, and you love the look, but you don’t believe it will really work. And it must be expensive to do. The cost, if you do it yourself is very reasonable. You will spend more on a good 10x15 area rug than you will on the floor in your garage. It runs between $100-$250 depending on the size of your garage and if you have to buy some tools.

First, gather supplies: You want to make sure that you get the garage floor paint that comes as two parts. What that means is that you must mix two liquids together to form the paint. Also, measure your garage’s square footage so that you get enough to cover. Read the instructions for pre-cleaning. Of the recommended products, muriatic acid works the best because it cleans and etches the concrete. In addition, get a small one-gallon container of gasoline. You will need a floor squeegee, heavy bristle brush, and the recommended paint roller and extension stick.

Note: This is a project that needs to be done above 60 degrees F.

Second, prepare the space: Remove everything from the garage that is sitting on the floor. You need to plan for your cars to be parked outside for at least 48 hours after you have finished. Cleaning the floor is not about getting the stains removed, the floor paint will cover them. It is about using the gasoline to make sure to remove the oil and grease residue. The paint will not stick to an oily surface. Also scrape up any lumps of dirt, paint, glue, or anything else that is on the floor that would make it not smooth.

Third, etch the floor. Use the muriatic acid to etch the concrete. Create a mixture of one-part acid into ten parts water. Carefully pour the mixture into a plastic garden watering can and then onto the floor. Spread it around using the squeegee making sure to cover all of the concrete. Allow it to sit on the floor until it stops bubbling. Then carefully rinse the floor with water. The concrete floor must completely dry before continuing, so depending on the outside temperature you may not be able to apply the paint until the next day.

Fourth, paint the floor: Following the instructions on the garage paint package, roll it onto the floor just like painting the wall. Caution! Do not spread it too thin. Also, remember not to paint yourself into a corner. Once you have finished, you need to lock all doors leading to the garage. If you can secure your garage door opener, that would be advisable as well.

Just wait the time shown on the paint instructions for it to dry. Remember you are going to drive a heavy car onto this paint, so do not get in a hurry to drive on it. The better it has dried, the longer the floor will last. Once it is dry and usable, it looks so beautiful you almost don't want to drive on it. But now, cleaning oil drips and any other drippings from your car or work you do in the garage is, and the floor still looks great.

A beautiful, clean, painted garage floor adds value to your home. When you list your home with a professional real estate agent, be sure to highlight your upgraded garage.




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