Want to Move? 6 Steps to Get Started on the Home-Selling Process

selling your houseDo you want to sell your home? Have you been eying a new house on the market and want to get your home sold as quickly as possible?

Beginning to sell your home can be a tedious process, especially if you’re not sure where to start. That’s why your friends from The Massey Team have come up with 6 steps for you to take when you get ready to put your house on the market. Look over our list below to get started!

Clean and De-Clutter Your Home – Before you think about listing your house or giving your agent a tour of your home, you need to do some serious cleaning. First, de-clutter your home by getting rid of anything you don’t want, need, or use anymore. Next, clean your home thoroughly. That includes dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing, and even cleaning the drapes and carpets. Once your home is on the market, you will need to do all that you can to keep it as clean as possible.

Make Rooms Bright and Large – When you have people walk through your home, you will want them to notice that your rooms are all bright and have plenty of space. Go through each room and remove anything that doesn’t fit the room’s purpose. Put Store oversized furniture, which makes rooms appear smaller, in a safe location offsite, and rearranged smaller furniture to make the room look open and inviting. If you have exercise equipment in your office, store it elsewhere. Be sure to pick up the dog or baby toys from the living room and put them in the appropriate spot.

Increase Your Curb Appeal – Don’t know what we mean by curb appeal? Curb appeal describes how appealing your home is from the curb to potential homebuyers. Your home’s curb appeal shapes the homebuyer’s first impression on your home, so it’s important that you get it right. Pay some extra attention to your landscaping – prune and trim your plants, keep your lawn green and presentable, and consider putting a fresh coat of paint on your front door. Your home’s curb appeal will draw in curious homebuyers in no time. We have some ideas and tips here to help you get started!

Make the Necessary Repairs – There are some things in your home that might turn off a potential homebuyer. Consider fixing the items that you are aware of such as any crackling paint or drywall, dripping faucets, running toilets, and holes in the window screens. These and other issues will deter homebuyers.

Consider Staging Your Home – Want to sell your home more quickly and for more money? Consider having it staged! You don’t have to go all out and hire the most expensive decorator around. Instead, follow some basic staging advice to get the desired effect, which is making your home look big and inviting. Check out our tips on staging here!

Hire the Right Agent – Several homeowners attempt to sell their homes on their own, but oftentimes, it takes a very long time to sell their homes, and they don’t get the money they hoped for in the process. An expert in the field will be knowledgeable and keep your best interests in mind. Trust your biggest lifetime investment to the greatest professionals in the Metro East St. Louis region – the Massey Team! If you’re unfamiliar with us, you can learn more about our team here!

Of course, selling your home means that you are searching for a brand new home to enjoy your life in. We can help with that! Check out our listings on our website at www.dianamasseyteam.com. Be sure to call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started with your house hunting!

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8 Easy Steps to Start Your Own Garden Now!

Flower GardenSpring is a time of rebirth and new possibilities, especially when it comes to all things outdoors. You’ll be noticing very soon that the trees will start budding and that springtime flowers will peek out of the ground to greet the season. Things will begin to look much greener and more alive once more.

Spring is also a good time to begin growing and digging, Even though it can be intimidating for any beginner, a bit of gardening can do wonders for a home’s curb appeal! If you’re ready to make your first garden this spring, just follow these 8 tips below, and you’ll have your own little garden in no time!

Make Your Mark – As soon as you have an idea of where your garden is going, mark it out. Feel free to give it a fun shape with flowing curves, or make it echo the lines of your home with a more rigid structure. You can use a hose at first for a basic outline and then switch to sand or flour to make it more pronounced.

Get Rid of the Grass – If grass is growing in the spot you want your garden to be, get ready to dig it up with a spade or sod cutter! If you have the time to wait for your garden, break out the mower and cut it the grass as low as you can. Then cover it with several newspaper sheets and many inches of soil or compost. In a few months, the grass will die, and you will have richer soil!

Dig In the Dirt – Time to roll up your sleeves and don your gloves – it’s time to start digging! Till or dig the dirt of your new garden, and remove any roots, rocks, or other debris standing in your way. If your soil isn’t the best, take the time to work in some organic matter like compost while you dig!

Give It an Edge – Now that you have a spot for your garden, it’s time to put an edge on your garden! After all, you’ll want the rest of your lawn and other invaders to stay away from your garden. A trench of 8 inches deep and a few inches wide will do just fine!

Place the Plants – Don’t confuse this with the actual act of planting! It’s much better if you take the extra time to place your plants in the areas you’re thinking of putting them. It will allow you to get the spacing just right and help make your plants work really well in the designated garden area. Besides, planting and digging up plants again is no fun and exhausting!

Start Planting – After you’ve determined exactly where your plants are going, go ahead and plant them in the ground! Try to loosen or tease the plants’ roots before you put them in the ground to encourage healthy growing. You can choose annuals, which will stay around for one year but will provide beautiful blooms nearly all season long, or perennials, which may die off a little early but will be back in your garden every year.

Spread Some Mulch – Now it’s time to protect what you’ve planted from weeds, pests, and other baddies! Mulch will help keep your new garden healthy and low-maintenance and will do wonders in stopping weeds, all while helping your soil contain moisture during a drought. A 2-inch deep layer of mulch will do perfectly!

Add Water – Finally, all you need to do to complete your garden is to give your plants a nice soaking. Remember in the future that if your mulch is dry, it may also absorb some water before you plants are able to do so. Soak the dry mulch well to ensure that your plants get enough moisture, hang up the hose, and sit back and admire your handiwork – you deserve it!

Want more tips on how to give your house some great curb appeal? You’ve found the experts! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

11 Quick and Easy Tasks to Do to Help Sell Your Home in No Time!

Colorful front doorYou want to sell your home, and you have vacuumed the place, straightened up the pictures, and lit a few candles. So selling your home should be a snap, right?

Not necessarily!

Just simple cleaning won’t help you sell your home. Some home buyers will be turned off by the way your yard appears or the bright colors on your walls. Their minds will wander or they will immediately assume that your house isn’t right for them, even though you know that they are just missing the real potential in your home.

Don’t make potential home buyers struggle to see that potential. Help them out by making these 11 easy changes to your home before putting it on the market!

Beautify Your Lawn – Before putting your home on the market, make sure to mow the lawn and give it a nice trim. Also, to help your lawn look more full and richer, use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer! You should see a healthier, greener lawn in just 2 to 3 weeks.

Replace Your Mailbox – Has your mailbox seen better days? Does it look worn out and rusty? Go ahead and replace it to amp up your curb appeal! But a clean, good-looking new mailbox, Future home buyers will notice and appreciate it!

Clear Out Your Junk – Do you live in a cluttered home? Clean it out before you let potential home buyers see it! Dedicate yourself to clearing out the clutter on your counters, floors, and even your closets as clutter can be incredibly distracting and quite a turn-off for buyers. Without the clutter, home buyers can more easily imagine themselves and their families living in your space, and your home will also look the space look bigger!

Love Your Lights – Lighting is essential in selling a home. If your home has dingy or outdated lighting, spend a little extra money to splurge on some good lighting! A few different lamps or even a new but inexpensive chandelier can work wonders on lighting up your rooms. If you can’t afford extra lighting or don’t have much time on your hands, work at cleaning and shining up the fixtures you do have.

Go Neutral – You might be in love with that electric blue in your bedroom or that deep, rich red in your dining room, but your potential home buyers might not be! If you want to be serious about selling your home, purchase some white, off-white, or other neutral colors and paint your walls before putting your home on the market. The neutral colors will add light and make your rooms look bigger, and they won’t distract home buyers from the real beauty of your home!

Pay Attention to Details – Details matter when it comes to selling your home! Take the time now to replace your switch plate covers, which you can do for as little as 50 cents apiece, replace the drawer pulls in your kitchen for stylish new pulls, and ensure that your appliances in your kitchen work and look nice. Have extra time on your hands and feeling adventurous? Go ahead and give those old kitchen cabinets a sleek white paint job!

Get Down and Dirty – Selling your home isn’t always easy! Make it easier on yourself by taking the time to regrout your bathroom and redo your tub. It will give the bathroom a fresher look and will make it look extra put-together and squeaky-clean. Entice the buyer even more by springing for a new high-performance showerhead, which you can find for as little as $20. They’ll never want to leave!

Add a Tile Backsplash – Want to make your kitchen pop? Add a backsplash to help make it look hip and modern! You’ll just need a utility knife to help with the installation and the tiles themselves to get the job done. For an easy and cheap option, try out the ACP Peel & Stick Tiles!

Liven Up the Basement – If you have a basement, make some use out of it besides storage! Put away the junk and hide your storage boxes at a family member’s house, and give the place a fresh paint job! This could help buyers envision using your basement for their own hobbies.

Clean, Clean, Clean – And we don’t just mean lightly dusting or vacuuming the “big stuff.” We mean a deep clean! Scrub every square inch of your home, even those hard-to-reach spots. If you have carpets, get them steamed, and make sure all of your surfaces are wiped and clean, including (and especially) your windows. Remember, clean windows will actually let more light in your home!

Make Your Front Door More Welcoming – Is your door white and boring? Are you falling asleep just looking at it? Does it just blend in with your home’s exterior? Do something about it! Find a vibrant, clean color that will help make your door pop out! Go for the classic red to invite potential buyers to your front door, choose a sagacious green, or have fun with a bright and perky blue to attract a home buyer’s eye. This will do wonders to increase your home’s curb appeal on the market!

Ready to sell your home? Made all these small changes to your home? Then pick up the phone and give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! We can help you sell your home in no time and even help you find that home you’ve always been dreaming of living in. Call today!

9 Easy Ways to Make Your Patio Pop!

Nice porchSpring is finally here, and several people around the nation will begin working on their yard and garden. But what about your patio? It’s time to start thinking about what you want your patio to look like and what function you want it to play!

There are so many things you can do to make your patio accent your yard and garden instead of the other way around. Make your patio work for your yard this year instead of always feeling like you are working for it!

Here are 9 quick and easy things to do to make your patio this pop this year!

Tone It Down– If your yard has a good variety of plant types and textures, then you want your patio to be a little more toned down. You don’t want to try to add too many additional types of patterns to an already diverse setting because it can become very overwhelming and too jarring to be relaxing.

Say Hello To Your Biggest Fan! If you have a structure overhead to help shield you from the elements you may also be shielded from the refreshing summer breeze. This could warm you up during the summer months rather than help cool you down. One way to counter this is by installing a ceiling fan if possible. This will not only help get the air moving and help keep you cool but it is also an added light source!

Light Up Your Life – When creating a beautiful patio, why not consider using exterior lighting? It not only helps keep you safe at night and illuminates your pathway, but it can also help create gorgeous ambience!  It’ll help cast light on your dinner plates after the sun has set as well as make the light source decorative and fun looking.

Potted plantsBring Nature to Your Patio– Tie your patio together with the rest of your yard! You don’t want your patio to come to an abrupt end when it hits your yard and garden. By placing decorative potted plants on the patio you can make your patio and yard flow together nicely despite how large or small your patio is. Try putting your favorite plants and succulents in beautiful pots of all shapes and sizes to give your patio life and a chic look!

Over the Garden Wall – Trellises are a simple and easy way to soften the edges of your patio. By choosing the height, spacing, and type you can easily find a design that fits the needs you have. They also provide a nice way to add a flowering vine to your yard!

Consider Using Your Front Yard – Front yard patios are not all that common, but that doesn’t mean you have to let all that space go to waste! Instead, move your patio to the front! It will give you a place to easily entertain your guests and neighbors and can accent your home beautifully. Using mid-height flower planters will provide you with an elegant and beautiful privacy wall and will also give you more space to plant!

Get Creative – If you have a partially enclosed patio or a patio that is protected from the elements then it’s time to decorate it! Accent it with cushions, pillows, accent rugs, decorative pots, and more so that it has the feel you want. Add in favorite pieces of art – just make sure they are properly shielded from the elements! Add a photo frame or two of your latest vacation. Make your patio a space that you’ll never want to leave!

Make Your Patio Multi-Functional – Make your patio have more then just the typical use. Make your prep station work as a breakfast bar as well. Allow one side for seating so that you can eat your breakfast or lunch out there while having a larger table for dinner and dinner parties! Not only will you have a prep-table and a serving area but also a great place for you and your closest friends to gather for small get-togethers!

Introduce the Element of Water – Water features, even a small one, provide a soothing sound and a calm environment. Birds and butterflies also find themselves attracted to these water features to drink from and bathe in. Allow these beautiful water elements to become a focal point in your yard to help you attract and appreciate the beauty of nature!

You don’t have to take part in all 9 of these ideas in order to create a vibrant, welcoming patio that will be the envy of all your neighbors! Feel free to employ one, two, several, or all of the tips to get that patio you’ve always dreamed of!

Speaking of dreaming, now is the time to find that dream home you’ve always wanted! We can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com today to find that home you’ve been dreaming of living in!

Selling Your Home? Here’s What Your Home Inspector Will Be Looking For

field_inspectorAre you thinking about selling your home?

If you’re at that stage of homeownership, you are probably busy contacting the right people, straightening up your rooms, and de-cluttering your home from piles that you might otherwise not have ever touched.

But do you really know what’s necessary to help your home get a passing grade for potential homebuyers?

If you’re unsure of what your home needs to look like in order to sell (or to sell for the amount you would like), don’t fret! Just look at our checklist below to see what your home inspector will be looking for during your home inspection!

Your Yard

One of the very first things that potential buyers will notice about your home is your yard, so be sure that you ready it properly! The inspector will check for proper grading drainage and for any evidence of standing water or leaks. Your trees and bushes should be in good condition, and your landscaping should be well-kept. Remember to double-check that your driveways, sidewalks, patios, and railings on your stairs are in good condition as well!

Exterior Surfaces

Next move to your surfaces outside! Make sure that your paint or stain on your home has no stains or flaking and that your vinyl or aluminum siding has no dents or damage. Your professional inspector will be able to locate any large cracks in your stucco or masonry veneers as well.

Windows and Doors

When it comes to your doors and windows, you will want to make sure you did your seasonal homework! Doors and windows will need to be secured, have no cracks or decay, and be caulked and weather-stripped. Remember, damaged screens, broken windows, and visibly neglected features are a major turnoff to potential buyers!

Your Roof

Take a look at your roof! Do you see any broken, damaged, or missing shingles? Does your roof have any cracks or splits? That could be evidence that you need to get it repaired! Your inspector will also check for decay and stains on your soffits and fascia, your gutters, and much more! Don’t forget to check your chimney, if you have one, for any damaged bricks or cracked joints!

The Attic

When your inspector checks out your attic, he or she will be looking for evidence of decay or damage to the structure and stains on the underside of your roofing. He or she will also be checking for sufficient insulation that is functional and properly installed, along with proper ventilation, and any plumbing, exhaust, or appliance vents ending in the attic.

Interior Rooms

To make sure that you’re the bedrooms, offices, and family rooms of your home are ready for potential buyers to see, make sure that you don’t have any stains or significant cracks in your walls and ceilings and that your doors latch properly and easily. Check your paint for cracks and that your flooring is in good condition, too. Your inspector will also check for adequate heating and cooling in each room and that all electrical outlets work properly.

The Kitchen

When it comes to your kitchen, your inspector will check that there are no leaks in the pipes under the sink, that your water flow in the sink is adequate, and that your cabinets are in good condition and that the doors and drawers open and close properly. You will also need to ensure that your dishwasher drains properly, has no leaks, and that it operates correctly.

Your Bathroom(s)

Whether you have one or multiple bathrooms, you will need to be prepared to impress your inspector. He or she will be looking for a working exhaust fan that doesn’t end in your attic space, adequate water flow and pressure in all of your fixtures, proper drainage in your shower, tub, and sink, and that your toilet operates properly, too. Be aware of any and all leaks; if there are any leaks present, please contact a plumber beforehand to correct the issue.

The Basement

If you’re not a fan of basements or not in your basement often, you will need to take extra care of it before the inspector comes! Make sure that your basement shows no evidence of moisture, has no exposed foundation or stains or major cracks, and has no damage from insects. Your insulation and rim and band joints will be checked as well.

Please remember that this checklist shouldn’t be solely relied upon as a home inspection report and that you shouldn’t consider it as a substitute for a professional home inspection. This list is also not a complete list, so please be sure to contact a professional home inspector for a proper inspection!

If you’re ready to sell your home in search of your dream home, then what are you waiting for? Pick up the phone right now and call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. We will find you your dream home and help you sell the home you have now!

Springtime Is Here! The 11 Tips You Will Need to Make Your Yard Beautiful!

flowersIt’s that time again – it’s time to start your springtime gardening! There is always a lot of basic gardening and clean up required to start off with, but all your hard work will pay off.

 Just like any other project you want to start off with a set out plan before you go shopping for plants for your yard. This can help ensure you save money as well as get the yard that best fits what you want.

You always want to start with what you have before you move to what you need! Here are 11 great tips to help you with all your gardening endeavors!

Fruit Trees (Late Winter, Early Spring) – If you currently have fruit trees, then late winter and early spring is the time to trim them. Fruit trees need to be thinned every year to help keep the tree healthy and to make harvesting easier. Make sure you trim your tree before any new growths start to develop for the best results!

Winter Mulch (Early Spring) – If you used mulch to protect your plants during winter then now is the time to remove it! Only remove it if the danger of extreme temperature changes is over. If you remove it too early then your plants could be hurt from the cold temperatures. Remember to keep some mulch handy just in case an unseasonably late cold front comes through.

Roses (Early Spring) – Now is the time to put your gardening gloves on and start pruning your rose bushes! In most regions you will want to do this before or just as new sprouts are starting to emerge. Trimming them gives them stronger, healthier shoots that will produce more roses. This will also help them resist diseases better. Careful not to prick yourself!

Trees and Shrubs (Early, Mid-, Late Spring) – The cool, moist spring time conditions are ideal for adding shrubs and trees to your yard. There are many advantages to adding trees and shrubs to your yard. Trees and shrubs can actually add value as well as beauty to your property and they can shade your house during the hot summer months! This helps bring down your summer’s energy bill. Plus, if you select fruit bearing trees, they will also provide food to you and your family!

Cool-Season Annuals (Early or Mid-Spring) – There are two kinds of annuals: annuals that like it warm and those that like it cool. For a little pre-spring color try planting some of the cool-season annuals like pansies, snapdragons, calendula and sweet alyssum. These plants can take a little frost! One thing to keep in mind is that cool-season annuals will fade with the summer heat. When this happens you can simply replace them with the heat-loving annuals like petunias or nasturtiums.

Ornamental Grasses (Early Spring) –Like the other plants you will want to trim back your ornamental grasses before or just as new growths are starting. This is also the time to divide your ornamental grass, if you want to. By dividing the grass this will give you more plants to work with if you want to use it in another place.  Make sure to leave the cut grass readily available as birds will love to use this for their nests!

Overgrown Perennials (Early or Mid-Spring) – Older perennials thrive if you divide them! Make sure the perennial you have can do this before digging yours up. Splitting some perennials like bleeding hearts or peonies can actual set the plant back rather than help them thrive. Splitting the Perennials you can will help the plant grow because it will no longer be over crowded. This will also give you more plants to work with or to share with your neighbors.

Seeds (Early Spring) – If you start growing the seeds indoors then it can help speed the process up by a couple weeks versus growing them outdoors. If this isn’t an option then follow when your seeds tell you to plant them but make sure you sprinkle the seeds in moist, loose soil. Most unused seeds can be stored in the freezer until next spring!

Vegetables (Early or Mid-Spring) – Check to see what kind of temperatures your vegetables like. Cool-season kinds can withstand a bit of frost but make sure if the temperature drops too much to cover them to keep them from dying. 

Mulch (Mid-spring) – When the soil has dried out it is time to break out the mulch. Spread the mulch about 2 inches deep over the soil. Mulch helps protect your plants by holding in moisture during the hot summer while helping to prevent weeds from growing.

Make Records (Early, Mid-, Late Spring)- When you notice that there are holes in your garden or perhaps not enough color variation then the best way to fix this is with a photo! A photo will help you remember where and what color you need to add. Even if you think you have a good enough memory to remember where to plant it a photo will ensure that no mistakes are made. You can take this photo with you when you go to buy more flowers to fill in your garden as well as how to know where the new plants go in your garden.  Add these new additions in autumn so they are ready for the next year.

Now you are ready to make your yard shine but make sure to stop weeds while they’re small!  This prevents them from developing stronger roots as well as prevents them from seeding which means fewer weeds for you in the long run. This will keep your yard looking beautiful even longer and without unnecessary work.

Still looking for that home that’s perfect for you? Let us help. Call us at (618) 791-9298 or at (618) 791-5024 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com and let us help you get that perfect home you’ve always dreamed of!

Your Dream Home Is Right Within Reach – See It Here!

Allen house frontImagine this – you’re looking for the house of your dreams, and you’ve been relentlessly searching for longer than you’d like. You’re about to give up all hope when something catches your eye. You turn to see what caught your attention, and you gasp in amazement, eyes dilated to let in all the radiance.

Before you stands your dream home, a place of infinite beauty and wonder that is guarded behind a robust but ornate and welcoming gate. It’s as if the house of your dreams simply plucked itself out of your mind and presented itself to you in your time in need, as if to say, “I’ve been here for you all along.”

If this sounds like your dream home, then you’re in luck! We have such a house for you for sale right now, and we know you’re going to love it!

allen house 2Located on 5502 State Route 159 in Edwardsville, Illinois and built in 2004, this gorgeous home boasts 7 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms in 14,632 square feet. But don’t feel daunted by its large size! Despite how large the home might be, it has truly retained that warm home feel that makes a house a home.

When you see the house for the first time, you will be greeted by a large driveway surrounded by lush green grass, a gorgeous lake, and ornately beautiful bronze doors.

allen house pic 3You will be delighted to entertain family and friends alike in this home’s spacious yet cozy features. Take guests in to chit-chat in the home’s warm living room. Cook a meal to remember together in the well-equipped, sparklingly clean kitchen and serve them in the marble-floored dining room, lit by a radiant chandelier.

You can also enjoy a stunning walkout basement complete with 6 basement rooms, 7 luxurious and spacious bedrooms, and several appliances such as a built in microwave and oven, dishwasher, refrigerator, and many more!

allen house pic 4Don’t forget to take the fun outside with your friends and family (or by yourself, even)! This custom-crafted brick and stone chateau also comes complete with a heated outdoor pool, spa, and a boat lift! You can also host parties and get-togethers on the stately patios that encircle the estate.

allen house pic 5Oh, and horse lovers – if you have a horse or wish that you could have one prancing and racing about majestically near your home, this home is definitely for you. Horses are welcomed here!

With this home, there are simply too many fantastic amenities to list! The possibilities are unlimited.

If you’re ready to check out this dream home, just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even view this listing online here!

Keep Pests at Bay With These 7 Essential Tips!

eastern-chipmunk-sweet-best-viewed-large_lDo you know what the top three home invading pests are? No, it’s not your third cousin, twice removed. These pests take the form of mice, rats, and squirrels. Never make the mistake of thinking you have nothing to fear from these pests. Mice, rats and squirrels carry many diseases and can ruin your home.

They have the potential to take over your house before you even know they’re there. Rats can have up to 12 pups every 23 days! In only 90 days 6 mice can breed and multiply into 60 and squirrels can have almost 6 babies a year! This means that in less than 6 months your house could be overrun by these stealthy guests.

Protect your home and your family from these pests before they become a problem. Here are 7 tips to keeping your house pest-free!

1. Don’t Leave Pet Food Out – Larger pests like raccoons and rats can be deterred by pets, but make sure you don’t leave their food out over night. Leaving pet food out is an open invitation for pests. Keep your pet’s food stored in a tight container so that the food stays safe and the pests stay away!

2. Put a Lid On It! Open compost bins attract unwanted pests, so make sure you keep them covered. It also helps to put a layer of mulch over any new compost you add. You should also make sure that any foods that are non-compostable are properly sealed and disposed of. This ensures that the food is not made available to unwanted guests.

5517076735_464832e7703. Properly Seal Your Attic and Crawl Space- If your attic and crawl space is not properly sealed then it can let in all kinds of unwanted insects. Many pests eat various kinds of insects so where you have an abundance of insects, pests are sure to follow.

4. Keep the Woodpiles Away – Remember, woodpiles should be 20 ft away from your house. Not only do woodpiles attract pests and termites, but they are also a fire hazard!

5. Mow Your Lawn- Tall grass and untrimmed plants give pests exactly what they need to get into your home. Keeping your yard mowed, plants trimmed back away from the house, and removing any debris from your yard can help keep pests including rodents from gaining access into your home.

6. Fill in the Gaps –Gaps between your walls or the pipes in your house can allow easy access into your house from the outside. Pests can squeeze into the tiniest of holes so it’s important that you don’t underestimate them. A mouse can squeeze through a hole that is the size of a dime. If its nose can go through it then its body can, too. Caulking up holes also helps save energy!

7. Fix Leaky Pipes – Any water build up from leaky pipes or a leak in the roof can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.  As if that isn’t enough, these same water sources can attract other insects that bigger pests like to eat. Be sure to fix any leaky pipes or weak spots in your roof that your home might have to keep these pests at bay!

Once these pests get inside, they make themselves right at home. If you’re not careful these unwanted guests will start to take over your house and they will eat anything. They will eat aluminum siding, feast on your electrical wires, and gnaw on your trim and insulation. Normally by the time you realize you have a pest problem they have already had a chance to multiply, and having someone come in to remove these unwelcome guests can become very expensive. Save yourself the hassle and the money by preventing them from getting inside your home from the start.

Do you have an experience you wish to share? Let us know below in the comments or on our Facebook page! If you’re in search of your dream home call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or you can check us out online at http://www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

Renovating Your Bathroom? 10 Tips to Keeping Down Cost and Boosting Your Style!

7512480526_72e4a84767Are you tired of your bathroom but don’t have a lot of money to renovate it? Remodeling your bathroom doesn’t always have to be expensive! There are a lot of tricks to keeping the cost down while still getting the bathroom you want.

First off, know what you want before starting any work in your bathroom. Jumping in and doing any serious renovations without a set plan can not only cost you more time, but it can also end up costing you big money. Set out what you want so you don’t make the mistake of buying materials, products, or fixtures that won’t work in your space. Once you know what you want to accomplish in your space, you can start thinking about ways to cut cost without cutting the quality.

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 ways to help you save money and make your bathroom pop!

1. Do it Yourself- Most of the work you can do yourself. Doing it yourself can cut the renovation cost in half. Only pay to have more complicated things done in your room. Be warned, however – before starting any major renovations you should make sure to research your project to ensure you truly know what you’re doing. Unresearched DIY projects can take an ugly – and oftentimes costly –turn.

2. Think Fabric- If you’re not a painter and don’t want to fight putting up wall paper then try adding fabric to the walls. It’s easy to put up and remove when you decide to remodel again and the best part is that it looks like wallpaper! Fabric also gives you more decorative options then standard paint or wallpaper would.

3. Let Mirrors and Artwork Complete Your Space- Mirrors can make your room look larger as well as lighter, and they can be an art piece on their own while reflecting the other art work you have in your bathroom!

4. Refurbish Old Cabinets for a Fresh Feel – New cabinets can make a space look and feel refreshed, but don’t buy new cabinets just yet. Refurbish your old ones to give them that new look and feel. Remember, spicing up your bathrooms cabinets doesn’t have to cost a lot. Choose your expenses carefully.

1387791_marble_bathroom5.  Small Bathrooms Are All About Wall Space- Storage space is hard to find in a small bathroom. A good way to create storage space in a small bathroom is to sacrifice your wall space, but this doesn’t mean you must sacrifice style! Shelves add storage and don’t have to be traditional looking; in fact, many are pieces of art! You can use decorative glass shelves, stainless steel towel racks, or even standard wood shelves. Stainless steel towel racks can hold anything from a bath sponge, clear storage containers or a potted plant.

Thinking you want to keep it more traditional and use wood shelves? Think about painting the edges or the tops of the shelves an accent color to make them a focal point.

6. Use Under-the-Sink, Open, and Tall Cabinets – Using multiple types of cabinets can help make your cabinets work for your bathroom’s functionality, storage, and design. Tall cabinets can either go from the floor to the ceiling or as a separate unit on your sink’s counter top. These cabinets are great for storing your towels close at hand. The open cabinets allow you to keep your decorative containers of cotton swabs and cotton balls on display with a clutter-free feel and look. It helps frame and contain decorations so that your sink is left looking clean and clutter-free.

7. Personalize Your Bathroom- Don’t be afraid to incorporate yourself into your bathroom! Personalize your bathroom with a few framed pictures or even a canvas print to make the space yours. Small decorative accents can also make the space feel complete and encompass your personality.

913533_bathroom_window8. It’s Okay to Splurge on an Item- If you find or know that there is something you want to splurge on, then find ways to cut back on the cost of something else. Refurbishing is a great way to cut costs!

9. Create an Accent Wall- Save a little money by only tiling one wall. Tiling the wall around the sink or bathtub gives you functionality as well as a great accent wall.

10. Add a Floating Shelf- A floating shelf not only looks great but it also gives you extra storage space! Consider placing a floating shelf in a normally unused space to place your toothbrushes and soap or any fun decorations you want to display!

What does your dream bathroom look like? Let us know below in the comments or on our Facebook page! If you’re still looking for your dream home call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or you can check us out online at http://www.dianamasseyhomes.com! Let us help you find your dream home!

What’s Your Architectural Personality?

Victorian House on WhiteIn the world of architecture, there are several different types of homes out there for us to choose from.  Some people are more drawn to certain styles of architecture than others, though many aren’t sure what it is about that style that pulls them in. In fact, they might even begin to wonder if their attraction to a certain architectural style might shed light on their personalities and lifestyles.

Well, we feel that perhaps your choice in architecture could very well indeed speak of your personality and how you like to spend your time! Check out five of the most popular types of architecture below and see if you match a certain style!

Lovely Ranch style home of red brick, white trim and black shutters with an American Flag.

Ranch House – Strong, easy-going, and kind, you like a simple life in the suburbs away from all the hustle and bustle but close enough to your loved ones. You love having company over and are a warm, relatively laid-back kind of person. You feel it’s better to have a house messy from visitors than pristine yet lonely. To you, life is measured by how well you spend your time, not by the material possessions or money that you acquire.

Victorian House – When you’re not planning an amazing party you’ll be hosting, you’re out in your garden, antiquing, or partaking in another activity that exhibits your creative side. You love planning elaborate get-togethers for your family and friends and want to show them how much you care for them. Much like a Victorian house, you can be a bit mysterious and dark, but there are many sunny and cheerful things about you!

Mediterranean Style Single Family House, Suburban Beijing, China, Wide Angle

Spanish Colonial – If you’re drawn to the Spanish colonial, then you are a warm person with a penchant for romance and life. You are a relatively traditional person who takes simple ideas and adds your own artistic flair, just as a simply constructed Spanish colonial home might have details such as painted tiles, iron fixtures, and huge carved doors. You are down-to-earth, fun, energetic, and elegant, and you can put everyone at ease.

New home built in the tradition of the Colonial style with a country feel.

Highbrow Greek Revival – These types of homes, which are also known as Southern Colonials, are a fun mixture of Roman, Greek, and French with their high columns and high windows. Just like the highbrow Greek revival, you are also a mix and have many influences. You like to look at the world in the big picture and make it all work together. You are a sophisticated soul, but that won’t stop you from dancing with your best friends on a sawdust floor! You love life, and you seem to always find time to talk with a loved one over a plate of delicious food.

A picture of a modern luxury house and garden

Contemporary – Edgy, minimal, and thoughtful, you are the type of person who likes to reflect on life, that is, whenever you’re done updating your blog! You enjoy quiet spaces and exquisite foods, and you are one to notice details. You tend to defy tradition, much like contemporary architecture does, and you find that people trust you because of your quiet, confident composure.

What’s your architecture personality? Let us know below in the comments or on our Facebook page! And remember, if you’re looking for your dream home, whether it’s a ranch house, a contemporary home, or somewhere in between, just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and you can even check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! Let us help you find that perfect dream home for you!