6 Steps to Help You Have a Successful Post-Move Garage Sale

AdobeStock_50266255You never really know how much stuff you’ve accumulated through the years until you move! This is a saying that many who have moved into a new home know to be true. If you’ve recently relocated to a new abode and you weren’t able to purge any of your unwanted or unneeded items, you’re probably wondering where to even begin with your towering boxes of possessions you no longer need.

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6 Ways to Create a Classy, Inspiring Workout Room

girl doing yogaThe gym might be a great place to get a workout in, but there’s nothing like being able to exercise in the comfort of your own home! Oftentimes when people think of home gyms and workout rooms, they picture spaces cluttered with bulky exercise equipment, which can make the whole idea pretty disenchanting. Whether you’re a yoga fan or enjoy weightlifting or speed-walking on the treadmill, there are several ways you can make your workout room peaceful, classy, and inspiring!

Here are our 6 tips to help you create a home workout room that you won’t want to leave!

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White Lights or Multi-Colored Lights – Which Side Are You On?

white lights or multi-colored lights

The holidays are officially here! If you couldn’t tell from the colder temperatures and the shorter amount of daylight we’ve been experiencing, you can easily tell that the season is upon us whenever you go outside and see the beautiful spectacle of holiday lights. Trees and shrubs are bedecked in multi-colored lights, trees sparkle with clear white light in living rooms, and a myriad of bright lights can be found downtown or in your own neighborhood.

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8 Things We’re Thankful for in the Metro East St. Louis Region

Fun things to do near St. Louis

As residents of the Metro East St. Louis region, we are surrounded by a large number of wonderful places, people, amenities, and activities. Too often, though, we take these great things in our lives for granted. This Thanksgiving week, we’d like to give everyone a little reminder of just a few of the countless things we have to be thankful for here in the Metro East. Here are just 8 of our favorites:

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There’s Nothing Like Halloween in Edwardsville and Glen Carbon!

Halloween in Glen CarbonHalloween is quickly approaching. Pumpkins and decorations in black and orange adorn the houses in the neighborhoods across the nation, homeowners and renters are purchasing candy to hand out to trick-or-treaters in just a few short weeks, and children of all ages are thinking about what they want to be for Halloween this year and are finalizing their costumes. While Halloween is a fun time to celebrate in the countless towns and cities nationwide, there’s nothing quite like Halloween here in our own backyard of the Metro East St. Louis region.

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Traveling? Take Care of Your Home First With These 9 Tips!

thermostat

If you’re planning on taking a trip sometime this summer for business or for pleasure, you’ve probably thought about which hotel to check in, which restaurants to try out, and which attractions to see along the way. You might also have your bag packed and ready to go. But what about your home? You’ll need to take steps to secure your home before you take a trip – otherwise, you could have a possible break-in on your hands.

Don’t worry – there are plenty of easy steps you can take to deter would-be thieves! Here are 9 simple steps you can take to keep your home safe while you’re out, whether it’s for 2 days, 2 weeks, or somewhere in between.

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Want a Little Home Office? Turn Your Closet Into an Office in a Snap!

how to make a closet officeThere’s nothing quite like having your own little home office to retreat to so that you can do your bills in peace, continue some work from the office in the comfort of your own home, or write or create something beautiful. Sometimes, though, space just isn’t an option. You might not have that extra room to dedicate as your own personal home office. You might not even have room for a desk in your home or apartment.

So how can you have your own little home office without having to move, renovate, or build on to your home? It’s easy! Just turn a closet of yours into your own little compact office!

When you begin making your closet office, so to speak, start by maximizing every square inch of the space with smart storage solutions so that your new space will be worth showing off! You will need to keep in mind that this new “room” is also not like any other in your home; you will need to be very wise about how you implement pieces of furniture and space-saving devices.

See below how you can start making your compact office now!

Choose a Great Wallpaper – Since this is an interior segment of your room, you will want to make it pop and stand out from the rest of the room instead of blending in with boring paint or, worse even still, leaving it that nasty white, beige, or off-white color that has been on the wall since the home was built, a wall that has been shrouded in darkness and covered with dust. We humbly suggest using wallpaper instead! Find a really gorgeous piece of wallpaper that speaks to you or makes you feel more creative or productive. A great wallpaper will take your space from closet to a destination

Try Floating Planks – Shelves are a great way to help conserve space, but clunky hardware and the visual clutter of brackets can really put a cramp on your compact office space’s style! Instead, try using floating planks! The won’t overwhelm a tiny room, but they will still have all the space you need to store all those things you need for your office! As a bonus, they will hardly obscure your gorgeous wallpaper!

Select Fun Organizers – With this small space, think outside the box a bit! You don’t have to be tied down to boring office supplies and organizers, especially when office supplies and boxes come in so many great prints, colors, and designs these days! Choose files and boxes that spark your interest. Instead of using a boring old cup for your pencils and paper clips, opt for something more fun like a trophy or a nice vase!

Light It Up – If you’re familiar at all with design, then you probably know that the right lighting can make a space come alive and that poor lighting can negate any positive effect that any paint choice or piece of furniture could provide. To make this closet office a bright, inviting space, choose overhead lighting or even a dainty chandelier to provide the right light while giving your small space an ambiance of elegance. You may also wish to use a desk lamp for practical task lighting as well.

Make Your Own Desk – If you want to place a small desk in your closet space, that’s fine by us, but did you know that you can easily make your own custom desk! You really can! Just start with two standard file cabinets and attach a wheeled stand to the base of each cabinet (to make moving it a cinch!)! You can brighten up the boring cabinets with a bit of indoor/outdoor spray paint as well. Finally, position a ready-made melamine desktop on top of the two cabinets, and you’re ready to use your very own easily-movable desk!

Choose Your Final Furnishings – When you’re done creating your own closet office, select your final furnishings to finish the job! We suggest picking a nice, soft rug that has a big of a personality to make a soft spot for your bare feet and also a small, versatile chair that can easily move elsewhere within the room or underneath the desk if at all possible.

Want more tips? Searching for a home of your own that has enough room for a home office (or at least a big enough closet) and your other must-haves on your list? You’ve come to the right place! We can find you that perfect place just for you in no time. 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 best assist you!

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

how to pass home inspectionAre 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!

how to make yard beautiful in spring

It’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!