Will Back-to-School Time Hinder Your Home’s Sale? We Have the Answers!

back to school sell your homeIt’s that time of the year again. Students are gearing up to go back to school (or have already gone back!) and are working on getting back in the swing of a solid school-time schedule, young and young-at-heart alike. Perhaps one of the last things on the minds of many at this time of year is purchasing their dream home, which can seemingly spell disaster for you, the home seller.

If your home is on the market and you’ve seen a decrease in traffic (or no traffic at all, even), don’t fret! Though the impending season of autumn is a favorite to many because of the crisp temperatures, beautiful scenery, and pumpkin-flavored treats, it doesn’t have to mean that the winter of your home sale is imminent! In fact, it’s all about looking at the problem from a different point of view.

Even though home sales will typically cool down once school comes back in session, hope is most certainly not lost. In fact, there are still plenty of prospective homebuyers looking for their dream homes during the fall, and they tend to be more serious than those who breeze through during summertime.

According to the National Association of Realtors, nearly 66% of homebuyers fall into one of two categories: Millennials and the Baby Boomer generation. Often, but not always, these two generations don’t need to adhere to the school calendar, so don’t count on prospective homebuyers not wanting to look at houses just because class is back in session!

Another factor that can play into your hand is that inventories also typically drop as the temperature. That means that there could possibly be fewer homes for yours to contend with!

Whatever the case, you can still wow your potential homebuyers as the fall season creeps in. Here are a few quick pointers to give you the edge over the competition:

*Let there be light – You’ll want to make sure that your home brings in as much light as possible with the ever-impending shorter days heading your way. Wash the windows inside and out to let in as much natural light as possible, and open the blinds and curtains during the day. This will help make your home cheerful and inviting! Don’t forget to lighten up the dark corners in your home with a few strategically placed lamps!

*Make it comfortable and inviting – Autumn is all about coziness and getting comfortable in soft fabrics and blankets. Create a cozy sanctuary by setting out some nice throws and blankets in strategic places. If you have a fireplace, make it the center of attention in your home, and try to incorporate warmer colors like gold, orange, and red. You can also warm up any potential homebuyers by making fresh baked goods and brewing warm apple cider.

*Don’t stop rakin’ – Your No. 1 enemy during the fall is going to be the thing that just about everyone loves about fall – those gorgeous yet pesky fallen leaves! Instead of waiting for all of your leaves to fall, tackle them as soon as they hit the ground. Remember, you don’t want your prospective homebuyers to think about all the yard work that needs to be done as soon as they drive by.

As great as these tips are, doing them alone won’t sell your home. That’s why you need to team up with a real estate professional who can sell your home in no time. Why go anywhere else? Choose The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Get in touch with us by calling either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298. You can also check out our inventory online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

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10 Easy Tips to Get Your Home Ready for Spring

Spring colorsIt seems as if this harsh, freezing winter will never end, but in just a few short weeks spring will be here! It’s time to think about color, lightweight materials, plants and flowers, and getting rid of the stale winter air in your home once again!

What can you do to properly welcome back the spring season? Just tackle these 10 small projects to give your home a small facelift and make a big impact for spring!

Change Outdoor Lightbulbs – Take to the outdoors and clean all of the light fixtures outside! Be sure to replace all burned-out bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs.

Spruce Up the Walkway – The snow, ice, and cold from the winter season can really take a toll on your walkway. Take the time now to patch up cracks and replace loose pavers and bricks before the weather gets really nice! Go the extra mile by renting a power washer to make your concrete, stone, and even the exterior of your house shine like new!

Clear the Gutters – Before the notorious spring rainstorms come, inspect your downspouts and gutters, clear them of leaves and debris, and make sure that they’re draining properly. Clogging will typically occur at the elbow in the drainage system, so be sure to take it off and check it for clogging!

Freshen Up Your Door – Make your door shine this spring (literally)! Polish the hinges and knobs of your door and treat it to a new coat of paint or stain. Make it stand out with a bold color like a bright blue or yellow! Add the finishing touches with a new, clean welcome mat to welcome in visitors!

Lay Down Mulch – Get your backyard ready for the new season! Grab a rake and hoe, take up all the debris from the fall season, and lay down some fresh mulch in your plant beds. This will give your garden a jumpstart in the growing season!

Clean, Clean, Clean – Of course, spring calls for some spring cleaning! Get rid of all the gunk, grime, dust, and stale air from a winter’s worth of weather on your windows, ceilings, fans, walls, air conditioner unit, floors, and much more! Take a step further by decluttering and purging items you no longer want or need.

Add Plants and Flowers – Be bold and add some living color to your home and yard! Head to the local nursery and pick out some of your favorite flowers. Plant some bulbs and seeds in your garden outside, buy freshly cut flowers for your home, and check out a few colorful houseplants, too! Commonly chosen flowers for the spring include peonies, white roses, hydrangea, tulips, and daffodils.

Love Your Furniture – With all of the snow and ice we experienced this winter, you probably were cooped inside while road crews tended to the roads. Give your furniture some extra love by spraying a fresh coat of paint and replacing and cleaning the cushions. Get your outdoor space ready for summer by filling the empty spot on your porch with a modern swing or chair!

Change Your Bedding – It’s time to put away your heavy comforters and quilts and make way for lighter fabrics and softer colors for spring! Choose something with pastels or at least a hint of yellow and bright colors to give your bedroom that spring-like feeing! While you’re at it, strip the bedding and flip your mattress – it will help you sleep better and increase its lifespan!

Brighten Up With Prints and Color – Once you’re done with the bedroom, take to the rest of the house and change up your tablecloths, throw pillows, hand towels, and area rugs with brighter colors and fun prints! Try something different in the kitchen and dining room by purchasing some colorful dishware for spring and summer. If nothing else, try using some cloth napkins or invest in a beautiful statement table runner.

Spring is also the time that potential homebuyers take notice of the homes in their area. If you’re selling your home now and want to attract homebuyers, we can help! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyteam.com to learn more about us!

5 Easy Ways to Sell Your Home If You Have Pets

Dog looking out windowJust about everyone loves pets and loves having them around! Everyone, that is, except for the homebuyer who could potentially be purchasing your home. Not only do pets provide an unnecessary distraction for the homebuyer, but they can also turn them off with potential odors, hair, and behavior.

As adorable and loveable as your pets are, don’t let them hold you back! Sell your home with these five easy tips!

Take Your Pet Out For the Day – If you’re having your home shown to a potential homebuyer, try your best not to leave your pet home with them. You wouldn’t want your potential homebuyer to be prevented from viewing a home or area in the home because your pet is in there. There’s nothing more off-putting for a homebuyer than being greeted by an overly excited dog, a hissing cat, or growling, barking dog. If you can’t take your pet out of the house for the day, ask a trusted friend or relative to watch your pet for you while you work.

Hide the Evidence – Make sure that your potential homebuyers’ attention isn’t taken away from the beautiful features of your home because of pet toys and dishes! Pick up and place your pet’s toys somewhere that is more unnoticeable. Clean the area where your pet eats and drinks, and put away the treats, leashes, and litter box if you can.

Make Your House Smell Great – Not everyone who has a pet has a home that smells like their pet, but it’s always a good idea to freshen up your home for a showing. Instead of spraying massive amounts of air freshener in your home, try airing it out by keeping your windows open during pleasant weather and maybe baking an apple or cherry pie. Don’t forget to clean your fabrics, carpets, curtains, and cushions as well.

Clean Up Hair – If your pet sheds, you will need to make sure to stay on top of all of the shedding when your house is on the market. No one wants to see hairs on the couch or puffs of hair in the corner. Vacuum and sweep daily, if possible, to keep your home as hair-free as possible – you never know who might want to drop by to see your home!

Make Trouble Spots Disappear – Accidents happen, especially with very young and very old pets. Regardless, your floors are going to be quite a challenge when it comes to de-petting your home for a showing. Make sure to clean all the trouble spots you know where your pet has messed in the past, and be sure to test all cleaners on a small, less-seen area first to test for colorfastness. To find all the spots your pet has messed, consider using a battery-powered black light – in complete darkness, it will show all the locations in which your pet has messed.

Need more tips? Ready to sell your home? Let us help. Call us at (618) 791-9298 or at (618) 791-5024 or visit us online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

7 Quick and Easy Ways to Brighten Up Your Home for Spring

Colorful plants in a pretty vaseIt’s springtime, which is a wonderful time to throw open the curtains and windows, put away the heavy draperies, and let the sunshine pour in! It is also a fantastic time to brighten up your home just a little bit!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to go overboard or spend a ton of money in order to reinvent your home! There many things you can do to brighten up your home that takes very little time, effort, and money! In fact, we have 7 quick and easy ways for you to spruce up your home today! Check them out below!

Purchase Cheap Houseplants – Want a really easy way to perk up your home and bring some it some life? Buy some cheap but beautiful houseplants! They will not only bring a pop of color to your home, but they will also provide you with free, clean air and make your space seem more cheerful! You can easily find very cheap houseplants both big and small at your local nurseries, grocery stores, and in large stores like Lowes and The Home Depot!

Switch Out the Pillows – As the weather gets warmer outside, you know it’s time to switch out your pillows to match the nicer ones! Put away the warm winter pillows and opt for plain and patterned pillows in pastel or bold shades of pink, blue, green, and yellow. Feel free to mix and match pillows to match your rooms’ different feels and styles!

Bring Out the Candles – Instead of going to the beach and the outdoors, bring the beach and the outdoors inside to you! A scented candle can change the atmosphere of your home very easily, so choose scents that remind you of spring weather! Opt for citrus-flavored or floral scents, or you could even choose to begin pining for summer by selecting a “beach” scented candle!

Spruce Up Your Dining Table – Give your dining table a pop of spring color with a beautiful and simple tablecloth! Select a tablecloth that blends well with your dining room’s décor and curtains. Opt for shades of pastel and material that is easy to clean and maintain.

Grab Some Fresh Flowers – What’s more spring-like than fresh flowers? Add a touch of color and calmness in your kitchen, living room, hallway, or any other room by selecting colorful spring flowers! For ideas, try using yellow daffodils, purple tulips, or maybe even a bright carnation or two. Be sure to display these gorgeous flowers in attractive vases painted in bright or pastel colors! Remember, you don’t have to have a huge bouquet of flowers to make this work – even one or two fresh stems can look just as beautiful!

Springtime BeddingSwitch the Bedding – That’s right, it’s time to put away those heavy, warm comforters and blankets and switch for light-weight bedding and throws! If you can, select bedding in fresh spring colors like blue, pink, green, or yellow to help make your room pop and bring life back into it!

Break Out the Paint – One of the most inexpensive ways to reinvent and revive your home is with a simple bucket of paint! Find a color that lifts your spirits and makes you think spring, and get to work! You can opt to paint just an accent wall or paint an entire room one color, or you can turn that paint on cabinets, vases, or other small decorations!

Remember, springtime is a time of renewal, so let the warm weather and sunshine energize and inspire you to help you brighten your home this spring! If you’re looking for a new home to brighten up your life, then you’ve come to the right place! Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com! You’ll be glad you did!

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

field_inspectorAre you thinking about selling your home?

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

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

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

Your Yard

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

Exterior Surfaces

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

Windows and Doors

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

Your Roof

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

The Attic

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

Interior Rooms

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

The Kitchen

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

Your Bathroom(s)

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

The Basement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep Pests at Bay With These 7 Essential Tips!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keys to the new home!Are 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!

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!