Archive April 2015

Noise Control

For many homeowners, the days of hearing the neighbor’s radio through paper-thin walls are gone. But noise can still be a problem, even under your own roof.  Lower the decibel level in your abode with some ideas from TlC.

First, find out how sound travels in your home with one simple step. Turn off the lights in one room while leaving the rest of the lights on in surrounding rooms and look for any
light that’s peeking through the walls. If light can travel through, so can sound. Use acoustical caulk, available from most hardware stores, to seal off these hidden cracks between walls, ceilings and floors. Put carpet or rugs on higher-level rooms to reduce the noise traveling to lower floors.

To help reduce noise in other rooms, in-wall insulation can help, but it requires cutting holes in the walls. For an easier fix, buy wall coverings that have soundproofing capabilities and repaint them to match your décor, or hang noise-control curtains in the room. The most time- and cost-intensive fix — but also one of the most effective — is to replace standard windows with double-paned ones, which greatly reduce noise.

Don’t forget the outdoors. Block off sounds from the street by placing heavy shrubbery and evergreens with large leaves near doors and windows.  Consider ornamental fountains for a more welcoming sound

CRS Your Home Newsletter – July, 2012

Picture This

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 92 percent of homebuyers use the Internet in their home search process. When marketing your home online, professional-quality photos can help prospective buyers see your home in the best possible light. Here are a few tips from Quicken Loans and AOL.com to make your photos stand out.

Before taking any photos, tidy up the rooms
to avoid clutter in your pictures. Make the beds, remove all visible clothing and personal items, and shut the closet doors.

While you want to include as much of the room as possible in your photos, avoid using wide-angle lenses, which can make rooms appear distorted and larger than they really are. If it’s too difficult to include the whole room in a single shot, try shoot- ing from one corner of the room facing the entry.

When taking exterior photos, make sure the sun is behind you and shoot exterior photos in the morning or early evening.

Most importantly, show off the house, not what’s in it. Focus on the architectural details, like the bay windows, the ornate wood mantle above a wood-burning fireplace or the spacious backyard.

Taking extra time to create quality photos of your home can make a positive impression and encourage prospective buyers to see it in person.

CRS Your Home Newsletter – March/April, 2015

Return on Investment

Remodeling and replacement projects can add value to your home, but some projects recoup their costs better than others. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, small and exterior projects return the most value for your money.

The project that offered the best value overall was a steel entry door replacement, which recouped 101.8 percent of
its costs when the home was sold. The steel entry door is consistently the least expensive project named in the report, costing about $1,200 on average. The second best value is the addition of a manufactured stone veneer, which can recoup 92.2 percent of its original cost, but be prepared to invest at least $7,000 for the improvement.

Replacing a garage door can return 82.5 percent for an upscale project and 88.5 percent for a midrange project. Replacing your home’s siding with fiber cement will return 84.3 percent of the costs, while replacing vinyl siding recoups 80.7 percent. Adding a wood deck will return 80.5 percent and replacing wood windows earns 78.8 percent.

A minor kitchen remodel is a strong bet to add value to your home. An investment of $19,226 can return 79.3 percent of its costs. A major kitchen remodel recoups 67.8 percent and a bathroom remodel returns 70 percent.

To find out which home improvement projects bring the most value, talk to a CRS REALTOR® who knows the local market, housing inventory, and what buyers want in a home.

CRS Your Home Newsletter – March/April, 2015