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

how to renovate bathroomAre 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.

5.  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.

8. 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!

Top 15 Fun Things To Do in St. Louis

fun things to do in STLAre you moving to the St. Louis area soon? Congratulations! You will soon be learning why St. Louis has been deemed one of America’s most livable cities and how historically rich the city and the area around it are!

Whether you’re already living in the area, have lived here for a little while or several years, or are moving here soon, you don’t have to worry about ever being bored! While St. Louis is relatively small compared to other cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles, you’ll find a plethora of activities and events to enjoy with friends and family alike. Check out our favorite 15 things to do in the Lou below!

1. Go to the Top of the Arch – When you think about the city of St. Louis, you will more than likely picture the Arch towering majestically over the cityscape. Why not bring yourself up to the top and check out the city at a bird’s eye view? Take a 630-foot ride to the tip-top of the Arch, and you will see lines and lines of buildings and lights. Once you’re done, go below the Arch to check out the museum, which recounts the settlement in St. Louis and the explorations of the west.

2. Cheer For the Home Team – St. Louis is definitely a city that’s passionate about its sports. During the spring and summer months, buy a ticket to a Cardinals baseball game in Busch Stadium, and check out the St. Louis Rams in the Edward Jones Dome during football season. You can’t enjoy St. Louis to the fullest, though, without going to a St. Louis Blues hockey game at the Scottrade Center. There’s nothing quite like hearing someone honk 3 times and hearing everyone shout, “LET’S GO BLUES!”

3. Visit the Zoo – The St. Louis Zoo is one of the nation’s top zoological parks and houses thousands of animals. Take the Emerson Zooline Railroad for a ride around the park. Check out fun areas including Big Cat Country, Penguin & Puffin Coast, the Interactive Stingray Pool, and so much more. The best part? It’s free! Just be sure to grab a fun souvenir or two before you leave.

4. Embrace the Night Life – Nighttime in the city is always hopping and fun in the Lou. Check out Laclede’s Landing or Washington Avenue for blocks and blocks full of awesome bars and dance clubs. Visit Soulard, the oldest neighborhood in the city, for your music fix. If you’re into swing dancing, be sure to stop by Grandel Theater every Tuesday night and dance the night away with Lindy Hop St. Louis.

5. Check Out Forest Park – Perhaps one of the best parts of St. Louis, Forest Park encompasses 1,371 acres of land situated right in the center of the metropolitan area. In fact, it’s about 500 acres larger than New York City’s Central Park! Enjoy all that Forest Park has to offer including its scenic walking and biking trails, the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Science Center, the zoo, the Muny, and the Jewel Box, a flower conservatory that’s a popular venue for special events!

6. Feel the Rush of Adrenaline at Six Flags – Just to the west of St. Louis is Six Flags! Zip around loops on The Batman, face harrowing curves and dips on the Screaming Eagle, go on a water adventure on Thunder River or at Hurricane Harbor. You can also see live shows and concerts, meet your favorite cartoon characters, and so much more! Go with a group for a discount or grab season tickets for you and your loved one.

7. Sample Some Beer at the Local Breweries – Beer is a big part of the city, so be sure to take time to visit the historic Anheuser-Busch Brewery where you can sample a variety of premium brands of beer and even visit with the Budweiser Clydesdales! Another place to stop is Schlafly Bottleworks; you’ll get a free brewery tour, and you can enjoy sampling different styles of beer, listening to live music, and eating delicious food at the Schlafly Tap Room.

8. Run Wild at the City Museum – Before you skip to the next activity, you should know that the City Museum isn’t actually a boring, ho-hum museum. It’s a unique location that’s pretty much an absolutely enormous playground for people of all ages. Filled with caves, slides, and lots of things to climb on, the City Museum is full of wonderful activities to do, including interacting with over 10,000 sea creatures, venturing through the Museum of Mirth, Mystery, and Mayhem, and wandering through tons of fun mazes and exhibits. Make your own work of art in Art City, play on equipment at the very top of the towering building, or feel the rush of adrenaline as you zip down a three-story high slide.

9. See the Animals at Grant’s Farm – Can’t get enough animals? Visit Grant’s Farm for an up-close and personal experience like no other! You’ll see African elephants, tortoises, bald eagles, deer, cattle, fennec foxes, buffalo, ostriches, and so much more when you stop by for a visit. See shows, take tours, and don’t forget to check out the carousel!

10. Discovery Something New at the Science Center – Located in Forest Park, the Science Center is a definite must-see to add to your list. Find out about animals, see a life-sized animatronic T-Rex and other dinosaurs, and marvel at the wonders of our solar system! You can even build your own arch! Don’t forget to check out the Omnimax Theater for unforgettable shows shown in a manner like no other!

11. Feast on the Foods of St. Louis – You can’t live in or near St. Louis without having tried some signature foods. Go to restaurants on The Hill to try delicious toasted ravioli. Visit a local pizza parlor to savor St. Louis style thin-crust pizza. Swing by Dooley’s Beef N Brew House for mouth-watering bbq. Top it all off with scrumptious frozen custard at Ted Drewes at the end of the night.

12. Enrich Your Life with the Arts – Love the arts? You’ll love St. Louis! Visit the Art Museum in Forest Park and wander through the many halls and coves of the museum. You can find numerous amounts of famous paintings, sculptures, and so much more! If music is more up your alley, then you’re in for a great treat. Grab some tickets to one of the many shows at the St. Louis Symphony for a breath-taking show.

13. Jam to Some Live Shows – There’s always happening in St. Louis on the live band scene. Check out some live music at places like The Pageant or the Scottrade Center. See outdoor acts at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater or catch touring acts at the famous Blueberry Hill.

14. Get Lost in the Missouri Botanical Gardens – For plant and outdoor lovers or just those seeking some peace or a new kind of adventure, the 79 acres of lush gardens, landscape architecture, greenhouses, and conservatories that make up the Missouri Botanical Garden are just what you need! The oldest botanical garden in the nation, the Missouri Botanical Garden features a Climatron, which recreates a real rainforest experience for you to talk through, peaceful Japanese gardens, and fun and educational Children’s Garden. There’s always something fun and new to do here!

15. See Live Theater – Love drama? Don’t start it – just go watch it in St. Louis! You can get your Broadway fix at the Fabulous Fox Theater when you see plays, concerts, and dance troupes perform. For an enjoyable outdoor experience, come to The Muny, the nation’s largest outdoor amphitheater dedicated just to musical theater!

Need to find your dream home close to St. Louis? We can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find the perfect home for you! Be sure to also check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do to help you find that one perfect place for you!

First-Time Home Buyer? 10 Must-Know Tips to Buying Your First Home

tips for new homeownersAre you getting ready to stop renting and to buy a home for the first time? That’s fantastic news! You will no doubt love being a homeowner and enjoying all the freedom that comes with owning your own property; however, you definitely need to do your homework before you just pick a house.

Think about your dream home for a minute. What does it look like? Where is it located? What about your dream community? What is it like? These are actually very serious questions to consider before you go out there and try to find a home. But where do you start?

Below are 10 tips outlined to help you get started and help you along your way to finding your very first home!

1. Know Your Credit Score – Before you do anything else, check your credit score! This is the most important factor in getting your mortgage qualifications assessed. Lenders will connect your credit score to the interest rate you will have to pay, so ideally a score between 720 and 800 is what you should aspire to have in order to pay the lowest mortgage rates. If your score is 620 or below, you might not even qualify for mortgage at all until you improve your score.

2. Set a Budget – When it comes to buying a home, a budget is essential. It will be your guideline to what you can and cannot afford, and it will help keep your searches in check. Create an easy budget for yourself with income and spending to figure out how much you want to spend on house payments, and definitely set it before you go house hunting. There’s nothing worse than falling in love with a house that’s way out of your budget range.

3. Stop Spending and Start Saving – As soon as you set your budget and have figured out how much your potential mortgage payments will be, start saving the difference between that payment and your current rent every month. This will help you save money and will help you get more accommodated with paying higher payment amounts.

4. Find a Lender – Before you start looking at houses, get pre-qualified for a mortgage loan! Make sure that you ask your lender about all the different loan options and figure out an idea of how much money you’d need for a down payment and for closing costs.

5. Find a Trustworthy Realtor – There’s nothing more vital to buying your first home than finding a reputable realtor. This realtor should be experienced, knowledgeable, and familiar with where you want to live. You will need someone who will be reliable in representing your interests during times of negotiation – and that’s what we do!

6. Nail Down Your Top Priorities – We know that there are a lot of things on your first house wish list, but sometimes you won’t be able to afford or find all that you want with your first home. Time to make some compromises! Ask yourself, “Is it more important to live in a particular type of home or in a particular section of town?” You will need to hone in on your top priorities before you can discern for yourself what you truly want.

7. Select Your Desired Neighborhood – Remember in your house searches that some neighborhoods hold onto their value more than others if the housing market is rocky. You should work with your realtor to find a neighborhood that meets your needs and that will keep you happy and make you feel safe. Your safety is of utmost importance, so please choose wisely before settling!

8. Make an Offer – Found a home you love and adore and simply can’t live without? Time to make an offer! Don’t place your offer at too low of an amount, though; many sellers are willing to negotiate, but many others simply won’t. Have your realtor walk you through the process so that you can be assured that you will receive fair treatment.

9. Get It Inspected – This is one of the most important items on this list. Never, ever, EVER buy a home without an inspection! A professional home inspection will help identify the weak spots and flaws in the home and will help identify which systems and appliances will need to be replaced.

10. Seal the Deal – Congratulations! The contract is signed! After the contract is signed, be sure to be in frequent contact with your realtor and your lender to make sure your financing is taken care of. A good realtor will keep a checklist handy to ensure that everything is completed in time for settlement.

Are you ready to find your first home? Then give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, and we can help you find the best house out there for you! Visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see all of the services we provide!

Looking for a Vacation Home? 5 Tips to Consider Before Purchasing

vacation home buying tipsHave you ever thought, “Gosh, if I could just live here, life would be perfect!” or “I need a vacation from this weather; I should move to X”? Well, you most certainly aren’t alone! Many people think about buying a second home or vacation home!

In fact, this trend doesn’t show any sign of slowing down or stopping at all. People, especially those in their 40s, 50s, and beyond are much more active than the generation before them and are finding ways to have fun, and, of course, in households in which both spouses work, income is more disposable than ever on a secondary home!

Are you considering buying a second home? Check out these 5 tips before you decide to purchase!

Location, Location, Location – There’s a reason that location is mentioned three times! Location is absolutely crucial when it comes to purchasing your secondary or vacation home (or any home, for that matter).  Keep your interests, hobbies, and your personal tastes in mind when looking for your vacation home, and keep in mind how far you’d mind traveling to get to your secondary home and when you would retreat there, be it for a few weekends at a time, every other month, or during a certain season.

The Price Tag is Pivotal – Money can’t buy you happiness necessarily, but the cost of your secondary home can certainly affect your jubilance! Keep in mind that up and coming communities tend to be less expensive than those well-established vacation locales. Before you set your heart on a certain home in a certain area, go ahead and jump in your car and look for different home options. If you’re still stuck on a certain location, try spending at least a few weeks there to make sure it’s what you really want.

Know Exactly Where You Want To Go – You might have an idea of where you want to live, but it’s essential that you know more specifics on where you’d like your vacation home to be. Would you like it to be near a lake or right next to a lake? What would you want to do there? Would you want to retire to this location? You might need a while to truly decide the exact location you’d like your vacation house to be, but it’s definitely worth it in the end!

What Will Your Home Look Like? It’s important to envision what your vacation home will look like. Do you want to have a small cottage by the ocean? How about a small cabin in the woods? Another thing to keep in mind is what you will use this home for. Is it for just you and your immediate family, or will it be used for large get-togethers with friends and extended family? Keep this all in mind when you settle on a property!

Take Your Time – It’s no easy feat to look for a vacation home, even if the Internet does make things easier. Regardless, don’t rush into your purchase! A little cabin in the woods might look fantastic at first, but if you rush into it, you could really regret your purchase. Think about your long-term goals and go from there.

Looking for your vacation home? We can help! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!

What’s Your Architectural Personality?

victorian houseIn 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!

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!

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.

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.

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!

10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Houseguests

how to prepare for holiday guestsThe holidays are finally upon us, and several people are beginning to plan their holiday feasts and parties with their friends and loved ones. Many people nationwide travel to visit with their families or friends over the course of the holidays as well, and while this can be a fun and joyous time for the host, it can also be a stressful time.

No need to stress out! Just read the following 10 tips to help you prepare your home for your guests this holiday season!

Accessorize and Arrange Conveniently – Think about what you need in your living space for guests to sit and talk comfortably. Set small side tables next to your couch and chairs in your living room so that your guests have a place to set down their drinks and phones. Bring out throw pillows on a too-deep sofa so that guests can sit comfortably. Remember when you rearrange your furniture to make it easy for your guests to converse. There’s no rule that says that everything needs to match, but do try to make all of your furniture about the same height so that the eye level is equal.

Offer Storage Space – Guests come with baggage. Well, maybe emotional baggage, but we mean ACTUAL bags and suitcases! Make sure you can accommodate them well by giving them an obvious place to store their coats and bags. Even if you don’t have a spare closet, a simple row of pegs or hooks in the foyer will be just fine.

Make Them Feel at Home – Provide a useful surface for their toiletries in your bathroom or in a nearby location. Anything from a cabinet to a table to just simple stool will let your guests feel like they don’t have to litter the bathroom sink with their hygienic or cosmetic supplies.

Cozy Up the Bedroom – Don’t forget about the guest room! Put out extra blankets to ensure that your guests get a good night’s sleep. Be sure that the sheets are washed and clean as well and that there are enough pillows to accommodate your guests’ needs.

Offer Light Reading – Sometimes it’s nice to sit down in our own space and escape for a bit. Remember to stock the guest room with light reading. Magazines and short stories are always good choices, along with shorter novels.

Deck Out the Nightstand – If at all possible, do try to provide a nightstand next to your guests’ beds. It’s always great to have a safe nearby spot to place a glass of water, glasses, or phones at night. Additionally, provide a light for reading, an alarm clock, and a box of tissues on the nightstand.

Don’t Play Hide-and-Seek With the Basics – No one likes to guess where necessities are, especially in someone else’s home. Assure that your guests can easily locate the basic necessities like towels and washcloths, toilet paper, basic foods (cereal, tea, coffee, milk, bread, etc.), blankets, and more by placing them in obvious places (or even in plain sight).

Supply Finger Foods – Give an inviting feel to your home by providing bowls of plates of nuts, fresh veggies, cheese, and pretzels on your tables. Just be sure to keep food away from curious pets!

Add a Touch of Color – Add a cheery touch to nightstands, dressers, or windowsills by displaying little vases with fresh flowers. Even small vases don’t need more than a few blossoms! This is an inexpensive and easy way to add a pop of cheer and color where it’s needed.

Offer an Extra Seat – Sometimes it’s nice to have a place to sit or set things on. If you can, add a bench or extra chair to the guest room so that your guests can place their suitcase and bags on. They’ll appreciate it!

Want more tips on how to ready your home for guests this holiday season? Looking for that dream home to accommodate all of your friends and family? Just give us a call at (618) 761-5024 or at (618) 791-9298. You can even check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can best help you. Happy holidays!

8 Curb Appeal Ideas to Attract Homebuyers

curb appeal tipsPerhaps the most important question you need to ask yourself right now if you’re selling your home is, “What will be the first thing that potential homebuyers will see?” Quickly after you ask that question, you should additionally ask yourself if the things that will attract or deter them from your home.

Usually, the first thing that homebuyers will notice when looking for homes is your front yard, the color of your home, the landscaping, and if the home has an attractive exterior. They won’t be able to see the new kitchen appliances you have or the gorgeous, original hardwood floors that are throughout your home. If your curb appeal is subpar, the homebuyers won’t even bother coming through your front door to check out the inside of your home.

But what’s a homeowner to do? Well, don’t fret and continue reading – we have 8 tips that will help you improve your curb appeal and attract homebuyers to your lovely abode pronto!

Reevaluate Your Exterior Paint – Before you even begin on your yard work, look up and check out your home’s exterior. Is the pain cracking, dingy, or old? Is it incongruent with the colors that are present in the neighborhood, or does it not matchup with the style of the home itself? If so, you might want to reevaluate your home’s paint color. If nothing else, do consider pressure washing your siding or brick; it’ll look just like new after you do so!

Keep Your Accents Fresh – Whether your house is adorned with shutters, columns, or planters, be sure that all the accents are in good condition. If there is any damage to your planters, driveway, fences, or exterior lighting, be sure to address them and repair the damaged areas.

Take Note of Walkways – Next on the list are your walkways and entryways. Are the sidewalks cracked and old? Are the stepping stone paths broken? Are weeds sprouting up in the cracks in your driveway? Consider giving extra attention to these areas. Pull the weeds, and fix any broken areas. Additionally, power wash these areas to make them look just like new once more. You’ll notice a difference right away!

Pick Up Your Toys – Curb appeal is associated with how you and your family live your lives day in and day out. Make sure that you don’t leave any objects out on the lawn, or your potential homebuyers could draw up opinions about you and how you care for your home. When you’re finished with gardening tools, put them away immediately. The same goes for your children’s toys – be sure to teach them to put them away when they’re done playing with them. This will help prevent your lawn from appearing unkempt.

Love Your Lawn – Now it’s time to look at your lawn. How do your plants, grass, and surrounding areas look? Does your lawn look beautifully-kept or like a scraggly eyesore to the unbiased eye? Be sure to pull weeds where you can and fix unsightly areas in your yard, and consider employing new landscaping in your yard if it looks a little, well, sad in the landscaping department.

Out With the Old – This may seem kind of crazy, but even the simplest things like your mailbox or house numbers can turn a buyer off. If you’ve lived in your home for a while now (or if your mailbox has seen better days), replace your old mailbox and house numbers with new, more inviting ones!

Add a Pop of Color – Does your home need some extra color? Add an instant pop of color with planters filled with seasonal plants at your front door, in your yard, or at the sides of your garage. The plants will make future homebuyers happy to see what else is inside!

When trying to revamp your curb appeal, remember that it doesn’t have to be difficult or cost you al lot of money. If you’re having trouble attracting homebuyers, try the 8 tips above to help, or go ahead and give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! You can also visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you sell your home and get the dream home you’ve always wanted!

Keep Your Home From Looking Like a Haunted House to Potential Buyers

haunted houseMany residents in the country enjoy decorating their home for the Halloween season. It isn’t unusual to see doors with spooky wreaths and spiders on them, bushes covered with tons of cobwebs and spiders, and maybe even a few headstones here or there in the front yard.

But what if your home looks like that ALL of the time, regardless of the season? If you’re trying to sell your home, you could be easily be scaring away any potential buyers.

Homes with high curb appeal will typically demand higher prices from a potential buyer, and it almost always takes less time to sell. Of course, the way a house looks from the curb can add thousands of dollars to its value. Maintaining and giving your home a little extra love will definitely help!

But what will give your house the most curb appeal? Just follow these seven tips to help your house from becoming “that creepy house” everyone knows and avoids!

Tip #1 – Time For a Facelift: Before you do anything else to enhance your curb appeal, wash off the dirt, mildew, and general grunge from your home’s exterior. Just a simple bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dirt and dust on the exterior. Power washers are wonderful at cleaning and revealing the true colors of your home (and your sidewalks!). Be sure to wash your windows inside and out, take down the cobwebs, and hose down your downspouts as well. Don’t forget your garage as well!

Tip #2 – Consider a Paint Job: A new coat of paint or two can really enhance curb appeal. Buyers will notice it instantly, and appraisers will value it. For your best bet, try to match the paint you already have. A home that’s painted a wildly different color from the rest of the competition will usually be marked down in value.

Tip #3 – Raise the Roof! What’s one of the first things potential buyers notice? Your roof! If you have missing, faded, or curled shingles, you’re doing your home no favors! Be sure to hire a professional to replace the roof if it needs it! Sometimes, even cleaning a rooftop of the years of moss, dirt, lichens, and algae will make it look like new, but don’t do it yourself! Call a professional to care for your roof properly!

Tip #4 – Spruce Up the Yard: A neat yard is a happy yard! If your lawn could use some extra attention, try putting in some fresh mulch, pruned shrubs, and beautiful flowers and plants around the house, patio, or trees. Surround your trees and bushes with gorgeous reddish-brown bark mulch – it will give your yard a rich feel to it! Take out the weeds, keep the sticks picked up, and maybe consider potting some pretty flowers and displaying them on your porch. A great yard will do wonders for your curb appeal.

Tip #5 – Use Splashes of Color: You don’t have to go crazy with color – even just a little bit of color will please the eyes of a potential buyer! Plant a tulip border in the fall that will bloom next spring. Place some pretty petunias by your mailbox. Place a colorful Adirondack chair on your patio or front porch. Go ahead and paint your front door red or blue. Just these small touches will help grab a potential buyer’s attention and can help to sell your house more quickly.

Tip #6 – Fence It In: If you don’t have a fence consider investing in a beautiful picket fence to frame your yard. It will add some punch to your property, and appraisers will give extra value to a fence that’s in good condition. Already have a fence? Clean it up and be sure it’s in good condition. Consider giving it a new coat of paint, tighten loose latches, and replace broken gates if you have any.

Tip #7 – Maintain The Exterior: Nothing drives a would-be buyer faster than a home with hanging gutters, an overgrown lawn, missing bricks from the front steps, or peeling paint. When not maintained, these items can damage your house AND decrease it in value by 10%. If you’re looking to sell your home, you should first take care of some maintenance chores such as refastening sagging gutters, resealing cracked asphalt, replacing cracked windows, straightening your shutters, and repointing bricks that have lost their mortar.

Trying to sell your home? Want to ensure that your home doesn’t look like it belongs in a Scooby Doo ghost town? Come see us! We can help you sell your home and get you that house you’ve dreamed about having! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!

10 Simple Ways to Maximize Storage in Your Home

storage tipsDo you often feel that you have too much stuff in your home and not enough space to store it all in? Do you feel that your home has become more and more cluttered lately?

Well, no need to worry or run out to rent a storage unit! Just follow these 10 simple tricks to find some additional storage space in your closets, shelves, cabinets, and more!

May the Odds Be Ever Stacked in Your Favor – Do you have large gaping spaces in your closets or armoire and lack any shelving? That’s just empty space BEGGING to be used! Transform your gaping, unused space into a usable storage unit with shelves to store everyday essentials! Stackable units and baskets are usually available in all sorts of different shapes and sizes, and they are typically a cheap, simple way to solve your storage problems. Just remember to measure before you buy anything!

Two Hanging Rods are Better Than One – Do you need some extra space in that closet? If so, try putting in a second hanging rod! This will work wonders for storage issues, especially if you don’t have a wardrobe totally consisting of long dresses or coats. What a perfect, simple way to double the hanging space in your closet!

Baskets, Baskets, Baskets – Do like to store small things on shelving? Here’s an easy trick to keeping them all in one place – gather them all together and put them in a basket! You can stash all sorts of things in baskets such as video games, collections, remote controls, and even slippers! Not only will you be able to see all the contents at the same time, but you will also put the entire space to good use AND it’ll look much less cluttered, too!

Go Ahead, Be LAZY! What’s round, spins, and is totally awesome for parties and storing items easily? A Lazy Susan! These little beauts allow you to have easy access to items that would normally be tucked away in the back and hard to get to! All you have to do is spin that wheel! If you’re storing smaller items like cans and spices in your cabinets, try getting a two-tiered Lazy Susan to help you out even more!

Hang Those Pots Up! Want to really free up your kitchen? Try a hanging pot rack! This is a great way to empty out entire cabinets and drawers and to make your kitchen have a fun, distinct, and aesthetic look! You can try in-wall or ceiling-mounted versions of the rack. You’re sure to find the perfect one to suit your kitchen!

Don’t Underestimate the Cabinets – If you take a look at your kitchen cabinets, you should notice that there’s some hidden space on the top of them. Well, guess what? The tops of cabinets can often provide some wonderful “hidden” storage, and we’re not just talking about plants either! Store small items like light bulbs, vases, and other things you don’t really need all the time on the top of your cabinets. You can also place the items in colorful baskets on top of your cabinets so you can keep track of where they are (and maybe add a pop of color in the kitchen!).

Make Some Adjustments – It might sound like such an obvious statement, but don’t forget about those adjustable shelves of yours! Even just a few minutes of adjustments and rearranging could solve all of your storage problems… for FREE! You might also want to consider having some extra shelves made to fit your cabinets so you can have more layers of storage for smaller things like mugs.

Think Tall – What’s a really easy way to find a bit of extra storing? Rearranging how you store things! Try stacking your trays, cookies sheets, and platters vertically instead of horizontally to save some space. You can even find tray divider inserts at a local hardware store to help you keep them standing up!

Don’t Ignore the Doors! Do you hang shelves to store things on your walls? Chances are that you do. But there’s one thing you might have been ignoring this whole time when it comes to finding storage space – your doors! Try looking for hooks, racks, and even shoe pockets to store your shoes, dolls, and any other objects you’ve run out of room for!

No Monsters Under the Bed! Forget about feng shui – go ahead and use the space underneath your bed to store some items! But don’t just shove stuff down there – get some thinner storage units that have wheels on them for easy access to off-season clothing, shoes, or whatever else you can stash! Just remember to protect your items from dust!

So what are your tricks for maximizing storage space? Go ahead and tell us on our Facebook page! If you want more tips or are searching for a home with even more space, give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check out our listings and more on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

The 6 Vital Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Fall Season

how to decorate seasonally without going overboardFall is finally here, and people across the nation are preparing their homes for the new season with fall decorations and are saying adios to their flip flops and swim suits for the year and breaking out the sweaters and boots.

While it’s important to ready the look of your home and yourself for the season, it’s much more imperative to take care of your home and make sure that the house itself is ready for the change in season and the (somewhat) steady decline in temperatures.

Do you tend to forget to prepare your home for the colder months? No problem! We have six vital tips to help ensure that you, your family, and your house are all ready for the change in season!

Out With the Old, In With the New (Filter, That Is) – What’s the top reason that heating and cooling systems in homes fail? Changing the filter! Some experts feel that filters should be changed every single month, but you’re probably better off inspecting it each month and switching it out every three months, that is, once every season.

Why do this? Well, not only will you help ensure that your system will run nice and smoothly, but you will also improve the air quality in your home, reduce energy usage, and save a little extra money on your electric bill!

Give Your Thermostat Some Love – That’s right. You should really give your thermostat some extra TLC when the seasons change. Be sure to clean its heat sensor, contacts, and contact points; it will ensure that it’s running the best it can. Additionally, if you’d like to save some money on your energy bill, do your best to keep your thermostat between 68 and 72 degrees during the day and a smidgen lower at night. If that’s a bit too cold for you, you can always cuddle up with your favorite blankets and sip some hot chocolate!

The Vacuum IS Your Best Friend – If you really dread cleaning and the very thought of dragging out that big ol’ vacuum already has you searching for an excuse to avoid cleaning, then you might want to keep reading. Cleaning similarly to how you did during spring cleaning can prove to be beneficial for your health AND your wallet! Vacuum your ceiling fans, vents, baseboard heaters, ducts, and cold-air returns to not only keep your heating and cooling system in tip-top shape but to also rid yourself of a great deal of dust (which can cause respiratory problems and further aggravate allergies, by the way!). Trust us, you’ll be glad you did it.

Pay Attention to Your Windows and Doorframes – Are you enjoying that autumn breeze you feel in your home? Well, if you ARE and you don’t have your windows open, that you might really want to fix that on the double! Inspect your doorframes and windows to ensure that they are tight and in good condition. Make sure that you cannot feel any drafts coming through your windows or doors. If you do, you might want to spend some time fixing the leaks with some caulking or weather-stripping before it gets too cold. Remember, the draft may not bother you now, but it’ll be much worse on you (and your wallet) come wintertime!

Pretty Your Home Up! All work and no play makes your house awfully dull! After you clean and ready your house for the season, go ahead and take some time to make it reflect the season in artwork, fabrics, and design. Add a colorful wreath to your front door and some fun gourds and mini-pumpkins inside and outside your home. Display pieces of art that reflect the fall season, display a cornucopia on your dining room table, or simply change the slipcovers off your couch to reflect the colors and vibe of the fall season! Don’t forget the spice or pumpkin-scented candles!

Need more tips ‘n’ tricks to help your ready yourself and your home for the fall season? Why not give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298? We can give you tips to ready your home for the season or even for a sale. Don’t forget that we’re online! Visit us at www.dianamasseyhomes.com for dream homes near you!