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!

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10 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Holiday Houseguests

The 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

A modern custom built luxury home in a residential neighborhood.  This upper class home is a very nicely landscaped property.

Perhaps 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

Many 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

 

Do 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

 

Fall 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!

What Does Your Paint Color Choice Say About You?

One of the best things about owning a home is being able to choose the paint colors for each and every room! In fact, one of the easiest, least expensive ways to reinvent your home or give it a brand new fresh breath of air is repainting your walls a new color!

But do you ever find that you gravitate toward certain colors when you’re painting your home? Do you tend to reach toward a certain family of colors more often than others?

If you find yourself reaching for a few certain shades of colors with your paintbrush, it could be saying more about your personality than you might think! Find out what your color choice says about your personality below!

Do You Gravitate Toward Soft, Warm Shades? If you find that your home is covered in hues of yellow, orange, peaches, and pinks more often than not, then you tend to have a warm, welcoming, and cheerful disposition. You love to have company over and thrive on conversation. These warm colors are energizing and stimulate appetites, and because they’re bright, they help your rooms to spring forward, making your rooms more intimate, cozy spaces. To make sure that your rooms don’t become too intense, try mixing in cool blue gray or green furnishings in your rooms!

Are Soft, Cool Hues More Your Thing? You may find yourself finding more solitude in nature’s medium blues, lavenders, and greens. You are introverted and view your home as an oasis and sanctuary in your chaotic daily life. When you paint your rooms in these soothing colors, the rooms expand and promote a sense of calm over all who inhabit them. To prevent your rooms from feeling a bit icy, try balancing your cool hues with hints of brown, yellow, or orange in your furniture and decorations.

Do You Love Jewel Tones? If the hues of ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, topaz, and other hot jewel tones draw your eyes, you probably love turning heads just like the celebrities on the red carpet. More than likely, you are confident, outgoing, and creative, and you probably draw inspiration from your environment. Luckily for you, these fabulous colors help minimize any flaws in your room and can give your space enough flare without any unnecessary furnishings. But be warned – jewel tones can make smaller rooms appear even smaller, so balance is key! Try using neutrals such as ivory, beige, or gray in your furnishings (or try creating an accent wall by painting one wall the jewel tone and the additional walls a neutral!).

Are You a Fan of Neutrals? When people think of neutrals, the first word that comes to mind is typically “boring.” But you are anything but! You enjoy crisp, classic looks and are probably a practical, even-keeled individual. You probably aren’t one to keep repainting the rooms in your home every few years! To prevent your home from becoming too blank or boring, place pops of color in your furniture and accessories! It’s amazing what a few bright pillows or a wild piece of furniture can do in a neutral space!

Which colors do you gravitate toward when painting your home? Tell us on our Facebook fan page! If you want more tips for painting your home for fun or for selling (or if you’re in search of your dream home), give us a call today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. Be sure to check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you!

Going on Vacation? The 9 Tasks You Must Do Before Leaving

 

Vacations are fun to embark upon, especially when you’re taking your friends, family or loved ones along for the ride. You’ll not only see beautiful scenery and experience new things, but you’ll also be given time to recharge away from work and the daily grind.

Sadly, you can’t just pack your bags and run. You must take care of some very important tasks before you drive off into the sunset, otherwise you might come back feeling more stressed out and strapped for cash than you did before you left! Check out our list below of the 9 essential tasks you NEED to do before leaving for vacation!

*Stop The Mail – Before you leave, make sure you tell the post office to temporarily stop your mail, that way it won’t be left in a huge pile in your mailbox! Piles and piles of mail can also attract thieves to your home. If nothing else, you can ask a close friend or relative to take care of your mail while you’re out.

*Tell the RIGHT People About Your Trip – Taking a vacation is a very exciting event, and while you might want to shout out to everyone, online or in the real world, where you’re going and when, it’s a good idea to refrain from doing so. You never know who could hear the news and take advantage of your absence. Be sure to simply tell trust friends and family where you’re going and when so they can contact you in case of emergencies. Also, be sure to keep your emergency contacts up to date in case there’s an emergency on YOUR end while you’re gone!

*Pay the Bills – “Why do I need to pay the bills? I have so many other things to do!” you ask. Oh, trust us – you’ll thank us when you come home! When you pay your bills, you’ll feel more relaxed on vacation, and you won’t have to come home to any outstanding bills … or having your water or power shut off.

*Check Out the Fridge – Before you go, make sure that you don’t have any perishables in your fridge that will spoil while you’re out. You might also wish to turn up the fridge’s temperature a few degrees so you can help save a bit more money on your energy bill.

*Take Care of Your Plants – Don’t just take care of your house – take care of the living things inside (and outside) your home, too! Be sure to water your plants with plenty of water before you take off, and move them in the appropriate amount of light if you can so they won’t wither while you’re on vacation.

*Crank Up the A/C! No one will be around to enjoy the cool air conditioning, so why not turn it up a few degrees? You can save money and energy when you do this, and you can also take out some of the extra moisture in your home so you’ll discourage the growth of mold!

*Put Your Lights on a Timer – You should make sure that all of your lights are off before you leave, of course. But consider putting only a few lights on a timer to switch on and off at various times while the other lights remain off. Timers can help steer any possible intruders and thieves away from your temporarily vacant home.

*Unplug Your Electronics – Doing so will not only save you some more money on your power bill, but it will also help in avoiding any potential damage that could occur in the event of a power surge occurring while you’re gone! Feel free to unplug small appliances, too.

*Get a Good Night’s Sleep – Last but not least, be sure to get enough shut-eye before you leave for vacation (yes, even if you’re extremely excited about the trip). After all, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving while drowsy is a contributing factor in 100,000 accidents every year. So get everything done beforehand and get to bed earlier so you can get the sleep that you need!

Want more tips on how to protect your home while you’re out? No problem! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you! Be safe and have a great vacation!

Bringing a Furry Friend Home? Pet-Proof Your Home First!

Are you bringing your very first pet home? Adopting another furry friend to keep your first one company? Then congratulations! Owning a pet is one of the most rewarding experiences, and you’ll find that you’ll have gained a best friend for life.

But if you haven’t found out by now, pets, like children, are very curious (albeit very lovable) creatures. When they first arrive at your home, they will investigate everything, and they will attempt to mark their territory (in more ways than one!). Before you bring your newest furry friend home, you should prepare for them properly by pet-proofing your home!

Not sure how to pet-proof your home? Check out the following 8 tips to help you ready your home for a new four-legged friend!

Get Down to the Pet’s Level – Stumped at where to begin? Then try getting down to your pet’s level to see what should be taken care of! Get on your hands and knees and look around you for anything that would attract a pet’s attention, especially a puppy or kitten. We’re talking about wires, electrical cords, toys (that aren’t theirs, that is), loose strings, paper, coins, any stray pills, and so on. Check for places in which vacuums can’t reach, too. You never know if a puppy or kitten can squeeze through and find something you don’t want them to find!

Keep Those Drawers and Cabinets Shut – Little pets have a large amount of curiosity. Try to put childproof locks on cabinets in case any curious little paws try to open them. Also, if you have a feline, be sure to check your closets, drawers, and even the washer or dryer before leaving. Cats like drawers and dark places, and it can be surprisingly easy to accidentally leave your cat in a dark enclosure unknowingly.

Say No To Chewing – When it comes to pets and chewing, anything’s game – your favorite pair of shoes, the corner of that fancy sofa, or that very important document that you needed for work. To prevent chewing, try to keep your closet doors closed, and keep your things off the floor. If your pet still insists on chewing put up child-safety games or try spraying pet-safe products with either a lemon or a bitter apple flavor (they tend to dislike those flavors!) on your tasty leather shoes or anything else that looks enticing to pets.

Guard Your Food – Your four-legged friend might look like he would love to chew on that piece of chocolate in your hand, but trust us, you’re better off keeping your food out of reach. There are several types of food that can be very harmful to pets; even consuming a little bit of certain foods can be lethal. Keep your food out of your pets’ reach!

Dog at homeStop Scratching, Stat! If you adopt a cat, be prepared for scratching. Cats tend to scratch in order to exercise their muscles and tendons in their paws and also to claim their territory. While you can remove their claws, the easiest way to deter scratching is placing scratching posts close to where your cat eats and sleeps.

Pets + Plants = Disaster – You love plants. You also love pets. Sounds like a winning combination, right? WRONG. Many types of plants are quite poisonous to pets, and if a pet chews on or consumes certain plants, they can become ill or can even die. Keep your plants off the floor and in locations your pets won’t be able to reach. Research which plants are and are not harmful to pets before you purchase any plant.

Put the Lock-Down on the Lid – As gross as this might sound, your toilet looks tasty to many four-legged pets. They view it as an oasis that will quench their thirst, free for the taking. What they don’t know is that there can be chemicals from cleaning products that could still be lurking in the bowl that could make them ill, and well, it’s just nasty. Beat them to the punch and keep the lid closed. Add extra precautions by adding a lid lock or by keeping your bathroom door closed.

Train, Train, and Train Some More – Training a pet begins the first day you bring your furry friend home. It’s important to set healthy boundaries on what your pet can and cannot do or go. Always use positive reinforcement and praise when your pet does something good, and try to distract them from less desirable behaviors; NEVER strike your pet. Proper and consistent training can help eliminate most of the issues above, if not all of them. Just remember to be patient as some pets more quickly than others!

Now that you know what to do, you’re free to choose your new best friend and begin the fun process of training and owning a pet while protecting the home that you love from potential damage!

Want more information? Need a new home? Give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298, or you can check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see what we can do for you and your family!

Need To Sell Your Home? Consider Repainting Your Walls!

 

Red Paint Can with Brush Top View Isolated On White Background.

We all know that your curb appeal is what attracts potential home buyers to your home, but do you know what can turn them off just as soon as they enter your home? Bold, dark, and overwhelming paint colors!

If you want to sell your home and your house is lavished with dark or bold paint colors, consider repainting your walls to impress your potential buyers and have them biting at the bit to buy your house!

But which shades of color should you go for? How do you go about selecting the perfect paint colors for your home when there are so many different shades to choose from? Simple! Just follow the below tips for a good guideline to selecting the colors that work best for you!

Think Like a Buyer – It can be very difficult to think about your home objectively, but it’s one of the best strategies that you can employ when trying to shape your home in the customer’s liking. Try putting yourself in the potential buyer’s shoes to decide which colors need to be changed in your home. Remember, you want the buyer to focus on the amount of square footage in your home, the house’s unique architecture, and how great you are at keeping the interior well-maintained, NOT on the wall color! Your buyer needs to think, “I can see myself living here today!” instead of, “I’ll have to paint every single room in this house – it’s too much work for me!”

Keep Your Colors Neutral – So how do you take your potential home buyer’s focus off the walls and onto the square footage or anything else you’d want them to see? Why, by choosing neutral colors for your walls, of course! But before you groan and cry out about injustice to your creative, color-loving side, keep in mind that neutral colors do NOT necessarily mean shades of white or beige. Neutral colors can also include subdued, welcoming shades of brown, gray, and green! Just keep in mind which colors would coordinate the best with what you already have in your home to make your home feel larger and more updated.

Stage Your Home For Success – There’s no doubt that the housing market’s conditions aren’t the best still. In these difficult, competitive times, sellers need to go above and beyond of what it typically takes to prepare their homes for selling. The easiest, most cost-effective way you can do this is by staging your home, and a huge part of that is painting your walls the aforementioned neutral hues. The next most effective thing you can do is to de-clutter your home (no one likes to see messy bedrooms, offices, and closets!). Even experts feel that if the home is staged it will sell more quickly and for higher prices than the homes that aren’t staged.

Want to sell your home? Need more tips on how to stage your home? Have no fear! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or at (618) 791-9298 or check out our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see how we can help you!