Five Upgrades to Sell Your Home

1. Upgrade your entryway – Replacing an old, dated or worn entry door can be a cost-effective way to ensure buyers get a good first impression when they walk in your house. Whether you choose a fiberglass, wooden or steel model, installing a new entry door can cost a few thousand dollars, yet the return on investment at the time of resale can be significant. A fiberglass entry door returns about 72 percent of its investment, while a steel door recoups more than 100 percent of its value, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value report.

Enhance your new door with attractive plantings, fresh paint and clean windows around the entryway to create a memorable, attractive entry for just a few thousand dollars.

2. Increase natural light – More buyers are becoming aware of the mood- and productivity-enhancing benefits of natural light, and homes with big, bright windows have always been in demand. Adding windows to a room can be a costly, time-consuming affair. Not so with adding a skylight. For well under $5,000 and in just a day or two, a professional can install an Energy Star qualified, solar powered no-leak fresh-air skylight, like those from Velux America. Professional installation costs nationally ranges from around $900 to $2,325, with an average of $1,400, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

The low installation cost will leave you plenty of budget to enhance the skylight upgrade even further with energy efficiency-boosting solar-powered blinds. The skylight and blinds are operated by remote control and the blinds are available in designer colors and patterns to enhance your décor. The products, as well as installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit to further reduce the cost of the improvement.

The most popular rooms in the home for fresh air skylights are baths, where they provide privacy in addition to natural light, and kitchens, where they vent cooking odors and humidity naturally while brightening this much-used workspace.

3. Beautify a master bathroom – Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. Making a few cosmetic upgrades to even a small master bath can help increase a home’s appeal and value. For less than $5,000 you can easily repaint, upgrade faucets, replace old cabinet hardware and add decorative touches like designer towels.

If you’ve already done all that, take a look at the floor or countertops – two cost-effective upgrades that can wow buyers. Since counters don’t make up that much square footage in most bathrooms, replacing them with granite can cost just a couple thousand dollars. Tile flooring is also a relatively inexpensive way to improve a bathroom’s look and usability.

4. Heat things up in the kitchen – Kitchen remodels can offer high ROI for sellers, but a full remodel may be outside your budget. If you’ve already done the obvious – like repainting and decluttering – it’s time to look for a few more cost-effective improvements that will appeal to buyers.

Just as in the bathroom, swapping old faucets and cabinet hardware with new designer options can enhance the appeal of a kitchen. Shabby, outdated appliances can hinder a speedy sale, so consider replacing them with new ones. You don’t necessarily need to install top-of-the-line, high-priced appliances to make a good impression, either. Newer, Energy Star qualified appliances represent savings for buyers down the road.

5. Lavish landscaping

No single aspect of your home has a greater impact on a buyer’s first impression than the landscaping. A great front yard sets the tone for the rest of the home, appealing to buyers on a number of levels, including beauty, practicality and savings.

With $5,000, you can accomplish a lot in terms of landscaping. You can sod a small front yard, add decorative planting beds to a lush lawn, or even install shade trees that will both beautify the yard and enhance the home’s energy efficiency in summer. Decorative concrete stamping of walkways and driveways is another cost-effective way to improve a home’s curb appeal.

Whether it’s a buyer’s market or a seller’s market, no one wants to see their home linger long before selling. A few simple upgrades can help ensure your home gets plenty of attention this spring selling season.

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Simple, Low-Commitment Ways to Change the Look of a Room

Want to give your space a makeover but not ready to commit to a permanent change? Sometimes all you need is a little bit of creativity and a few well-chosen accessories to completely change the look of a room.

Try refreshing your style with these temporary updates:

Rearrange the Furniture — Change it up by reshuffling the existing furniture in the space, adding or subtracting a piece or two. You would be surprised at the number of possible ways a room can be set up once you start moving things around.

Add Style with New Accessories — Add a little pizzazz to your room with a few carefully selected accessories. If you consider yourself a design novice, stick with a theme like wood, metallic or vintage items.

Redo Furniture with Slipcovers — Change the look (and feel) of your tired and perhaps outdated furniture with slipcovers. If you can’t find the right size in stores, try this DIY project to make your own.

Add Art — Original art can be expensive, so create your own! Create a gallery wall with your favorite photographs, frame scrapbooking paper, or make your own color block art by painting an accent color on a canvas.

Refresh with Removable Wallpaper — Give your room a brand-new look with removable wallpaper. Because it’s easy to change or remove altogether, don’t be shy about going with a bold design!

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energy saving components of your new or remodeled home

When designing a new home or remodeling an existing one, providing maximum energy efficiency requires careful planning, research, and attention to detail.  Taking the “whole-house systems” approach ensures that you have properly considered all areas affecting energy efficiency, and addresses the interaction between you, your building site, climate, as well as other components of your home.  The components of this approach, the ‘Big 6,’ include:

  1. Appliances and home electronics
  2. Insulation
  3. Lighting
  4. Heating and cooling
  5. Water heating
  6. Windows, doors, and skylights

Appliances and Home Electronics

Appliances typically account for 20% of a home’s energy consumption.  Appliances include washers and dryers, computers, dishwashers, home audio equipment, refrigerator and freezer, air conditioners, televisions, DVD players/TV receivers, and water heaters.  To ensure that your appliances provide maximum efficiency, verify that they are ENERGY STAR-qualified.  The U.S. Department of Energy publishes guidelines for selecting ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances. Click on the image below for a link to these and other products.

Insulation

Proper insulation offers one of the biggest energy saving benefits.  Additionally, proper insulation provides added comfort and noise reduction, improving the overall livability of your home.  Proper insulation involves a good understanding as to where to insulate, and which types and quantities of insulation to use for your particular climate and type of heating/cooling system you plan to install.  Check with the U.S. Department of Energy website for insulation guidelines.

Lighting

Artificial lighting accounts for approximately 10% of a home’s energy consumption.  Using new artificial lighting technologies (i.e., replacing inefficient incandescent light bulbs) can reduce lighting costs by 50%-70%.  Maximizing the use of natural daylight in your home via windows and skylights will further reduce the need for artificial lighting.

Heating and Cooling

Heating and cooling typically account for approximately 56% of the energy consumption in your home, making it the largest energy expense.  Whether you are upgrading/replacing an existing system or selecting a new system, make sure that you address supporting equipment such as thermostats and air ducts, which provide additional energy savings opportunities.  Work with your builder or remodeler to consider the wide variety of technologies available for heating and cooling your home.

Water Heating

Water heating can account for 14%-25% of your home’s energy use.  There are many energy savings water heating strategies from which to choose for your home or pool.  These strategies include how hot water is used, insulation techniques, and of course, employing energy saving equipment.  The U.S. Department of Energy website contains information regarding selecting water heating equipment and employing water heating energy savings strategies.

Windows, Doors, and Skylights

Windows, doors, and skylights can gain and lose heat in several ways:  1) direct conduction through the glass or glazing, frame, and/or door, 2) radiation of heat into a house (typically from the sun), and out of a house from room-temperature objects, such as people, furniture, and interior walls, and 3) air leakage through and around windows, doors, and skylights.  When selecting new or replacing existing doors and windows, use their energy performance ratings to tell you their potential for gaining and losing heat, as well as transmitting sunlight into your home. Atrium Windows and Doors is an example of an Energy rated company. Click on the picture below for more information.

In conclusion, builders and designers who use this ‘whole-house systems’ approach recognize that the features of one component in the house can greatly affect other components.  This ultimately affects the overall energy efficiency of the house.  The U.S. Department of Energy website contains vital information on proper implementation of these 6 energy savings techniques.

1. “The whole-house systems approach”,  U.S. Department of Energy

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New Home from Perry Homes in Bella Vista

Featured 65′ Homes Ready For Immediate Move-In
13406 Palatine Hill
4,099 Sq. Ft.
5 Bedrooms  –  4.5 Baths  –  3-Car Garage
WAS $451,900  NOW $389,900

  • 18-Foot Ceiling, Ceramic Tile Floor & Cast Stone Fireplace in Family Room
  • Upstairs Game Room & Media Room
  • Covered Backyard Patio & Porte-Cochere
13430 Palatine Hill
3,798 Sq. Ft.
5 Bedrooms  –  4.5 Baths  –  3-Car Garage
WAS $444,900  NOW $389,900

  • Library with French Doors & Formal Dining Room with Hardwood Floors
  • Upstairs Media Room & Game Room
  • Sprinkler System & Extended Covered Backyard Patio
13622 Palatine Hill
3,791 Sq. Ft.
5 Bedrooms  –  4.5 Baths  –  3-Car Garage
WAS $448,900  NOW $374,900

  • Family Room with Cast Stone Fireplace & Ceramic Tile Floor
  • Upstairs Game Room & Adjacent Media Room
  • Extended Covered Backyard Patio
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David Weekley New Home Construction

Below is a list of available homes in Two Creeks near IH 10 and Boerne Stage Road.  If you are interested in seeing any of the great deals, please contact.

The Cruise B 8222 Two Falls – 2960sf – 1.5Story/4beds/3.5bath/2 car
Greenbelt – Large back yard – Open floor plan – Cul-de-sac-corner – Huge Island MLS # 913796 Price: $361,462 Reduced to: $344,990 Available Now!
The Purdue G 25034 Seal Cove – 2904sf – 1Story/4beds/3bath/3 car
Tall ceilings – Open Floor Plan – Guest Suite – Texas sized Outdoor Living w/kitchen
MLS # 873168 Price: $487,407 Reduced to: $407,830 Available Now!

The Cruise B 8222 Two Falls – 2960sf – 1.5Story/4beds/3.5bath/2 car
Greenbelt – Large back yard – Open floor plan – Cul-de-sac-corner – Huge Island MLS # 913796 Price: $361,462 Reduced to: $344,990 Available Now!
The Blair B 25006 Seal Cove – 3826sf – 2 story/5beds/4.5bath/3 car
Huge Covered Patio – Large Backyard – Guest Suite Downstairs – Wood Floors throughout
MLS # 885796 Price: $479,169 Reduced to: $467,270 Available Now!
The Expedition C 24907 Cloudy Creek – 3500sf – 2 story/4beds/3.5bath/3 car
FORMER MODEL HOME – Lots of Upgrades – A Must See – Show Stopper!!
MLS # 1024176 Price: $525,300 Reduced to: $480,950 Available Now!

The Woolard B 25639 Nabby Cove – 3020sf – 2 Story/5beds/3bath/2 car
Open floor plan – Huge Home Site – Floor to Ceiling Fireplace – Guest Suite
MLS # 907776 Price: $367,840 Available January

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New Home Construction at Herff Ranch in Boerne

If you are looking for inventory homes that are ready to move in, KB at Herff  Ranch has 5 homes ready to go.

Discounts

104 SIDEWINDER A-2183-3 — 3/2.5 2-STORY           $272,747             $19,000                $260,747 DECEMBER                 Upgrades $40,885

112 ROCKY PATH A-1996-C — 3/2 1-STORY               $320,368             $10,000                 $310,368 JANUARY                   upgrades $53,373

157 DESERT FLOWER F-2239-E — 3/2.5 2-STORY    $249,102            $11,000                  $238,102 JANUARY                    Upgrades $26,307

121 Sandy Shoal        F-2239-E —3/2.5  2-Story       $256,795            $8,000                   $248,795 January                         Upgrades$30,300

Contact us for a showing.

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New Appliance to make Life Easier

Home Appliances to Make Life Easier & Save Money

Just like smart phones, appliances are getting smarter. They now inculde smart applications that allow you to interact with them from your phone or tablet – at the grocery store for example.

We had fun reviewing these smart appliances and think you’ll be just as fascinated as we were. What’s exciting is that after all the focus on making appliances more energy efficient, many of these new appliance features are designed to save you time and make your life more fun!

Refrigerators with Hot Water Too!

Refrigerators with apps and a touch screen look like your smart phone. The GE Cafe Series French-Door Refrigerator (photo from video) makes it easy to pick a pre-programmed temperature for things like tea or a cup of hot soup. Here are just a few of the new features you can get with your refrigerator.

  • Sparkling water, a new option next to your water and ice in the door.
  • Visual, color coded display showing the temperature of each drawer.
  • Apps to keep track of what’s in the fridge and help plan menus.
  • Keep your grocery list on Evernote, so everyone can add items to the list, even while you’re at the store.
  • Use your Google calendar to see who’s cooking and who’s coming to dinner!

And let’s not forget the growing number of under-counter refrigeration products for wine storage to beer dispensing and ice making, which are growing in popularity.

What’s New in Ranges, Cooktops and Ventilation

  • Side-by-side ovens are gaining popularity for their comfortable height. They are also easier to repair or replace one unit versus the entire appliance.
  • Some ovens serve as multi-function ovens which can be a convection oven and a microwave. There are also steam ovens that heat food with steam or they can be used as a convection oven.
  • Induction stoves are more high tech; they can now automatically recognize the size, shape, and location of pots you place on the stove top.
  • Siemens has an amazing multimedia ventilation hood with a 17-inch LCD screen so you won’t have to give up precious countertop space for a TV.
  • You won’t even notice the combination ventilation/lighting system that can hide in your kitchen ceiling.

Dishwashers Are Getting Smarter

Now there are smart dishwashers that monitor their own performance, diagnoses problems and with a Wi-Fi connection, they can call home (manufacturer) to schedule a service appointment. They’re also adding auto-close doors and automatic load-size sensors to help make your use of the dishwasher energy efficient.

Double dish drawers make it easy to run a full dishwasher with half the load, when it’s split between two drawers. They’re also more energy efficient.

Energy Efficient Washing Machines and Dryers

The biggest change in washing machines and dryers is the front loading machines which are more energy efficient and use less water. There are many new features using technology to conserve energy and water, like adjusting water temperature for the clothes you’re washing and adjusting the dryer temperature based on the moisture level in the drum. Also, the new dryers will sense when your close are dry and will automatically end the drying cycle – saving money but also saving your clothes.

A favorite new feature is the fresh spin cycle offered with some washers which keep your clean laundry fresh until you’re able to transfer it to the dryer. It does this by agitating the load back and forth to stop mildew.

New Home Construction Inventory

If you have been looking at purchasing a home here in San Antonio, you have found that the homes are in short supply.  Inventory is at a level of 3.5 months of inventory.  A balanced market is at 6.5 months of inventory.  You may want to consider looking at a new home.  Builders are offering huge discounts and other incentives for inventory homes that have already been built.  You may want to take advantage of these incentives before the busy summer season hits.  Discounts along with the inventory will most likely be limited at best.  Contact us and we would love to show you some great deals for ready to move in homes in the San Antonio area.

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Highland Homes Johnson Ranch

Can not find a home to purchase.  San Antonio’s home inventory is at 3.5 months of inventory.  Not much out there.   How about a brand new Highland home ready to move in.  Home is located north of 1604 on 281 in Bulverde.  Call me for details.

Johnson Ranch with Highland Homes:
3789 Brahman Road – 3617 sq. ft. beautiful two-story home
Move in today!  4 BR + 4 Ba + Game + Media + oversize yard
$359,500  ~  Final Sales Price!

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Highland Home Specials

Call me (210) 818-0669 if you would like to come out to view any spec located at The Preserve in Alamo Ranch and/or Stillwater Ranch.  Highland is running some specials trying to move some inventory homes.  Now is a great time to find great deals on new home construction for inventory homes already completed.  This is typically the slow time of year and many builders have incentives for buyers looking for great deals.  Let us negotiate the best deal for you.  Our fee is free to you and already included in the price of the home from the buyers. Let us use our expertise to make this a smooth transaction.

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