Quick Home Fixes

wrenchWith the Spring cleaning hopefully well under wraps you may have noticed a few things around the house that need to actually be fixed or replaced in the process of sprucing up. If you are thinking of selling your home it’s also a good idea to go through your home and take care of any minor little problem areas as well – it is often the small things that can mean the difference in getting your home sold for the best return.

Here are some good quick fixes to get you started:

Hinges
The squeaky wheel gets the grease; a squeaky door can really drive you nuts and add that haunted house ambiance to your home that you want to avoid during a showing. Easy to correct: give it a little spritz with the WD40! If it keeps squeaking after that look at pulling out the hinge pins and giving them a liberal dose of lubricant as well.

Squeaky Floor
Believe it or not you can actually sometimes fix this with just a little baby powder – especially if you have wood floors. Just sprinkle a little baby powder into the cracks of the floor near the problem area. For carpeted floors you may have to roll back the carpet to get to the sub-floor if the offending squeak is not near the walls in the room.

Tub Stains
Water stains on tubs can be rough. Here’s what to do: combine equal amounts of cream of tartar and baking soda with enough lemon juice to make a paste. Rub the mixture into the stain with your fingers or a soft cloth. Let sit for a half hour, then rinse well with water.

Flat Cushions
Couch cushions lost their fluff? Pillows not so poofy? Place them outside in the sun for a few hours – flip them halfway through. The sun will help evaporate the moisture that gets into the filling over time, and the cushions should plump up nicely. Don’t leave them out too long, sunlight can fade fabrics!

Scuffed Linoleum
A couple of common items can help with scuffy lino! Just rub the spot with white toothpaste and a dry cloth or with an eraser. Not cutting it? WD-40 to the rescue! Spray a little on a towel and rub lightly, making sure to degrease the area afterward with liquid dish washing soap and water.

These are just some simple, quick tips to help make the home a little better place. What quick clean tips do you like to use? Leave a comment below with your own ideas or comment on my Facebook fan page!

Boost the Curb Appeal!

Boise-035Selling starts at the curb. People often forget this very important factor in presenting their home for sale – frequently focusing more on staging the inside of the home. Staging inside IS important, cleaning the carpets and having everything nice and tidy is key to impressing the potential buyer, but all of that is for not if you don’t even get them in the door! The curb appeal of your home is it’s first most important impression when attracting buyers who may remain window shoppers otherwise.

Here are a couple quick things to pump that appeal!

First, walk to the curb and look at your home objectively. Just stand there for a moment, take it in as though you’ve never seen it before, and find the things that your eye is drawn to first.

Keep the Yard Up.
Trim and neat, free of trash, weeds, or leaves. Maybe even go the extra mile and add some potted plants for pops of color. Don’t be afraid to go big, but beware of over cluttering the entrance to your home.

New Paint.
Paint up that old front door – or even replace it. A good sturdy exterior door is considered to be one of the best investments for the front of your home. Keep the same thing in mind for the garage door as well – depending on the layout of your home it could be a larger part of the front elevation of your house.

New Numbers.
People might think that the numbers on the house aren’t so important, but tired, old, or hard to see address numbers can also detract from your home’s appeal. Pick something unique, a nice custom font, use it to show off a little of your style.

Add Some Light.
Small solar powered lights for the walkway or drive are fairly inexpensive and help light up the front of the home for passer-by’s. Don’t be afraid to leave the exterior lights on your home on a little longer into the evening than normal while you are showing your home; let it be the shining star you want it to be!

If you need to sell your current home, or are looking to buy a new home, I have the skills and experience you need to make it happen! Contact me directly or visit my website to get in touch! Want to see what’s going on in the Treasure Valley? Visit my Facebook Fan Page for the latest events and info!

Quick Home Seller Tips

Handing-KeyWith home prices on the rise in Idaho already this year, many industry experts are agreeing that 2013 could be the year of the sellers market return. That being said it doesn’t mean it’s going to be an easy move; buyers are being even more particular about the homes they view as they still have a number of options to consider. I’ve put together a few tips to help you get your home ready for buyers and get it sold fast!

Power Up
Consider adding power outlets with USB ports. It’s a minor thing but for today’s tech savvy families this could be a huge selling point.

Clean Up
Get the carpets cleaned by a professional, do the same for your wood floors. Dingy dirty floors are a major turn off and one of the first, most noticeable, elements to any space.

Expand
Don’t be afraid to open up that kitchen space. Open flow designs are all the rage and often with just a little remodel you can really add some appeal to the room that is often considered the heart of your home.

Keep Up on the Yard
Curb appeal is largely made up by your home exterior – especially the landscaping. Now, in Winter time it will be a bit harder to really showcase your lawn but you can do simple things like making sure the hedges are trimmed, and that the side walks and drives are cleared of snow.

Ditch the Wallpaper
Unless it’s something really modern or suited to the entire rest of the house it’s likely a good idea to tear out that old parlor wall paper and go with something more sleek and chic.

Price to Sell
That doesn’t mean undercut your investment, but be sure your home is priced competitively for the market. A great starting point is to have a comparative home market analysis done by a qualified REALTOR®. Don’t be afraid to go a little low either, some times pricing a little below market value can entice more buyers and lead to multiple offers.

These are just a few quick tips. There are any number of other tiny details you can put right to help get your home sold, but the most effective way is to get in touch with a real estate professional who knows the market! I am one of them – contact me today to see how I can help you!

Boise Home Design Trends

recycledAll across the country, and particularly in metropolitan areas, housing trends are pointing to smaller spaces soon becoming the norm for the homes of the future. Quickly passed are the days of sprawling opulent great rooms and extra opulent dining rooms, but that doesn’t mean you have to enjoy less home.

In fact, you may already be in a smaller home and loving that great things come in small packages. Either way I’ve put together some great tips to help you make the most of your storage situation in order to get more space! These tips on storage are simple to incorporate and won’t break the bank!

Organize and De-clutter.
Your home likely already has more room than you would think, but you may not be making the most of that space. Start simple: go through your things and decide what you really need. It may be time to file away those old documents or use organizers to get your closets in line. Look at your items and ask yourself: have I used (or even seen) this object in the last 5 years? If not, it may be time for it to go.

Ceiling to floor.
Your average store bought book shelf only goes so far – that is to say about 6 feet tall. Consider building or hiring someone to build full length wall shelving for you. Perfect for offices or living rooms, having that extra top shelf storage will give you a place to showcase items that aren’t necessarily used often.

Bunk up!
By adding a platform to your bed rather than the normal frame you can add a ton of extra room under the space where you sleep. If you don’t want to get rid of your frame you can even just make use of the storage there by getting short storage boxes for easy slide-in storing. Kids rooms? Save floor space by getting bunk beds for the kids! They’ll love having all the extra room to play.

Shoe organizers.
Not just for shoes anymore! Hang them on the back of the pantry door to store tube shaped, or smaller pantry goods. They also work well in any closet for catch-all items; will definitely help you free up a little drawer space.

Need a house first? I can help you find the very best homes in Boise and the surrounding Treasure Valley area. Visit my real estate website to search for homes in Idaho, or contact me to work directly with an exceptionally qualified REALTOR®.

New Home in Star Idaho

Check out this wonderful listing in Star Idaho!

Gorgeous single level with large upstairs bonus room. Hickory hardwood floors, granite counter tops, tile showers, covered patio, gas fireplace and more!

Purchase as little as 3% down, ask your Agent. Property is offered as is only and the seller will not recognize buyer’s personal home inspection reports and requests for repairs. Only items that come from the appraisal as an underwriting condition may be considered. BTVA

View More Details Here!

Star Idaho, Some History
The first location of the village of Star was one mile to the east of present Star, about halfway between the present town of Star and Star-Emmett junction, and is one of the earliest communities in the Boise Valley. The Pioneer ditch (started in 1863 by M.B. Palmer) and its supply of water allowed the country between Star and Middleton to be settled early. Today Star Idaho boasts a quickly blossoming community of wonderful amenities and a population of right around 6,000! A great town just outside the busy Boise streets; perfect to call home!

Whether you are looking for a home in Star Idaho or anywhere in the Treasure Valley Le Bois Realty can help you find exactly what you are looking for! Visit our website or Facebook Fan Page to search for real estate in your area!

Homes of the Future!

 

Innovations in design and new technologies are reshaping the way we live every day and in the future our homes will be changing as well. Automation and information will with hope provide new levels of comfort and ease for the homeowner of the future. Some of these idea’s may seem far fetched, but it’s important to remember –  even though we still don’t have our hover-boards yet! – that the science fiction of today often becomes the science fact of tomorrow!

Recently the 2012 Pacific Coast Builders Conference put on display some of the leading new developments in future home tech. Advanced home security systems will include things like windows that can alert you if they are not locked or get broken. Super Solar Shingles that will actually do more than just keep the rain out by harnessing the sun’s power to run your home. Smart Sprinklers that will monitor soil liquidity and only water the grass when it’s needed – not when it’s raining!

Check out these advances and more over at Houselogic.

If you’re looking for TODAY’S NEW HOMES head on over to our main website to start your search or to find an agent to help you get into just the right place.

Boise in the Top Ten AGAIN!

The latest accolade comes in the form of the #1 placement for Small Business Friendly States as reported by CNN. Other states include Texas, Oklahoma, and Utah all of which scored an “A+” rating according to the survey done by Thumbtack.com and the Kauffman Foundation.

Rankings overall were determined by how firms rated their states support of their small businesses, how easy it was to get started, and whether existing small businesses would encourage others to start their own companies.

Idaho also did well in other sub-polls, gaining a A+ rating from small businesses for the friendliness of it’s tax codes and regulations (sadly it did get a big D for new employee hiring costs).

The least friendly state to small business overall was Rhode Island, according to the survey. Vermont, Hawaii and California also scored an “F,” while New York earned a “D.”

One more reason to keep an eye on Idaho! A great place to live, work, AND play!

Boise – Listen to Buffett

The real estate market in 2012 has begun to see a real upturn, or so sayeth the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett; with that times are looking good again for investors. Recently in an interview with CNBC Buffett said single family homes are among some of the cheapest and most attractive investments in the new year – even over gold or investing in Treasury Bills.

Buffett said that if he had a way to buy “a couple hundred thousand single-family homes” and easily manage them, he would “load up on them” and “take mortgages out at very, very low rates.”

And truly, for investors with a team of property managers it could be very sound advice. That said, actually managing a couple hundred thousand single-family homes is a task right out of the myths of Atlas logistically, even for someone with the wealth of Buffett. This largest of factors along with others no doubt play a big role in scaring major investors away from single-family homes, even though they are grossly undervalued as assets, as buying and owning stocks is as easy as a few clicks of the mouse.

The absence of many big ticket investors in the U.S. residential real estate market however makes it far less competitive than the stock market as even when investors of great reputation (and pocketbooks) enter the scene they tend to go for residential income, or apartments and fourplexes rather than single-family homes – leaving a HUGE segment of the real estate market wide open for those with a little moxie.

When asked if a young individual investor should buy stocks or his first single-family home, Buffett recommended buying a single-family home with a 30-year mortgage.

“It’s a terrific deal,” he said. “It’s a leveraged way of owning a very cheap asset now and I think that’s probably as an attractive an investment as you can make now.”

He goes on to suggest that if said young investor is of the mind and inclination that buying multiple numbers of  single-family properties, fixing them up, and then renting them out is a great way to establish residual income.

Another good reason to buy a home now? Mortgage rates are at or near the historic low; mortgage rates are a huge driving factor of the ultimate cost of purchasing a home.

In all my years in Idaho real estate I’ve never seen such interesting times as we’ve witnessed over the last few years. I’m excited to see a positive upturn coming around the bend here in the Treasure Valley. If you are looking for a home in Boise, or property anywhere in the Boise area I can help. Visit my website to find some of the best deals in Idaho bank owned real estate as well as any available listing in the IMLS region!

Boise Voted in Top Places to Raise a Family

downtown boise idahoBoise has just been placed #9 in the top ten places in America to raise a family according to Charles B. Stockdale of 24/7 Wall Street.

This comes as no surprise to local residents who have come to love the City of Trees; there are any number of reasons to fall in love with this beautiful city. Whether it’s Boise’s central location, it’s close proximity to world class outdoor recreation, or the thriving arts community – there are a myriad of reasons why this place is the jewel of the Gem State.

According to the article the best-performing cities to the list have large public outdoor spaces, lots of playgrounds, top hospitals and strong schools. In addition they also considered local economy, unemployment info, and high school graduation rates.

Read the full article Here….

Are you looking to move to Boise? Already live here and just ready for a change? No matter what your real estate needs I can help! Visit my Boise Real Estate website today to start finding the homes and property you’ve been looking for!