8 Easy Tips to Make Your Small Bathroom a Huge Selling Point

staging a small bathroom to sellAs you may already know, staging your home is a crucial tip to help you entice a potential homebuyer. This means rearranging your rooms to be in their best possible light to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. Without a doubt, the toughest room of the home to stage is the bathroom; there is a limited amount of furniture, if any, to move around, and bathrooms are typically not very generous in terms of space.

Just because your bathroom is small doesn’t mean that you need to write it off. Turn it into one of your home’s biggest selling points with these 8 easy tips!

Create a Blank Canvas – As inconvenient as it might be for you, the potential homebuyers aren’t interested in seeing your everyday toiletries and bathroom supplies such as your soap, toothbrushes, and other personal hygiene products. You don’t want to make homebuyers feel as if they are intruding on your personal space, so make sure that you clear off the counters and create a blank canvas in your bathroom. Don’t forget the items in your shower!

Hide Cleaning Products – Even though they are necessary to an immaculate bathroom, your cleaning products will need to find a new home when you have potential homebuyers looking at your home. You want to make your feel like a luxurious getaway, and these necessities of everyday life do not fit in this picture. Put these products along with your bath mats, spare toilet rolls, and even your bathroom scale out of sight.

Maximize Your Storage – People like homes that have plenty of storage space. They will also more than likely be looking inside your bathroom cabinets to see how much space they offer, so make sure that they are well-organized. Another helpful hint – make sure that they are only half to two-thirds of the way full. This gives off the illusion of greater space.

Give It a Thorough Cleaning – Everyone loves a clean bathroom, especially potential homebuyers. Make sure to clean every single inch of the bathroom to help create a relaxing, inviting, and “new” feel for your bathroom. It will help give off the impression that your home is well-maintained.

Consider Making Minor Upgrades – You don’t need to spend an unsightly amount of money to upgrade your bathroom to entice buyers. Spending your money wisely by making small, inexpensive upgrades will create a large impact on homebuyers. Change out the mirror, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, recaulk the bathtub, or even upgrade the lights in the room. You’ll be surprised how far a few dollars can go!

Think Neutrals – When it comes to selling your home, neutral colors are the best way to go. Not only do they make rooms larger and more inviting, but they also help potential homebuyers envision themselves living in your home more easily. If you find yourself wanting to add a pop of color in your bathroom, try doing so in your towels or in a few key accessories.

Hang Luxurious Towels – Want an easy way to transform your bathroom instantly? Three words – luxurious, fluffy towels. Hang them on the side of the tub, on a towel rack, or, if you have a lot of extra counter space, on the vanity for an added touch of luxury. Your best bet is to go with thick white towels, but you can also opt for ones with beautiful textures. Just try to keep it simple for the biggest impact!

Place Accessories Strategically – In place of those personal bathroom products we told you to pack away, bring in a few well-chosen accessories to add an inviting layer of elegance. The bathroom should be like a spa or a sanctuary to get away from the stress that life often brings, so try replicating that feeling with fragrant soaps, bath oils, and candles. Don’t worry about bringing in too much – less is always better!

Looking for your dream house? Ready to put your home on the market? Let the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties help! Call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to talk to an agent today or learn more about us online at www.dianamasseyteam.com!

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9 Huge Reasons Why Your House Isn’t Selling

why your house isn't sellingYou’ve probably had your home on the market for a little while now, and you might be wondering why your home isn’t selling. Maybe you’ve had people stop by for open houses or even private viewings, but there aren’t any offers on the table whatsoever. Why aren’t people jumping at the chance to live in your home?

While the market and extenuating circumstances can sometimes be to blame, there are quite a few things that you could be doing (or not doing) that wind up sabotaging your sale. Here are 9 big reasons why no one is buying what you’re offering.

The Price Is High – One of the top reasons homebuyers won’t put an offer on a home is because the price is too high. Sellers tend to have an emotional attachment to their home, and understandably so since they’ve lived there for so long. But when it comes to sales, you need to do the tough thing and separate your feelings from your home. You might think that it’s worth quite a bit, but sellers are looking at it through a different perspective. Be objective about your price and your home’s true value, and the buyers should be more receptive.

Your House Looks Rough – Homebuyers today aren’t really looking for a fixer-upper. They want to buy a home that’s move-in ready, a place in which they can unpack their belongings, set it up to their liking within a week, and get back to business. While you don’t need to sink thousands of dollars into renovating your kitchen or bathroom, you will find that certain factors will really help perk your home up. Give your rooms a fresh coat of paint, put in some eye-catching landscaping, and give your kitchen cabinets a much-needed scrubbing and shine. This will help your home’s features shine!

The Pictures Aren’t Doing It Justice – When potential homebuyers look at the your home’s listing, they will want to see plenty of photos of your space. They want to feel good and excited about a potential home before spending the time going through it in person. They won’t feel this way if you have poor-quality photos or even worse – no photos whatsoever. Make sure to take plenty of pictures of the major areas in your home as well as the front and back exterior. The photos should be well-lit, in focus, and point out your home’s greatest features.

Buyers Can’t See Past Your Taste – We don’t want to sound cruel, but homebuyers aren’t going to want to see photos of you and your friends and family, nor will they want to see your prized knickknacks and collections. In fact, those things can interfere with the buyers’ imagination when they try to see themselves living in your home. If there’s too much “you” in the house, try to move some of your things into storage, paint the rooms neutral colors, and take out as much personal stuff as you can to coax the buyers’ imagination to life.

You’re Not Being Very Flexible – Everyone has buys schedules, but when you’re selling your home, you need to make sure that a buyer can see your home at the drop of the hat, if needed. Only allowing potential buyers to view your home at certain hours or by appointment can severely decrease the number of showings you get. Your real estate agent can take care of this; however, you will also need to ensure that your home is immaculate. Trust us, it’s not an easy task, but it really helps increase the odds of a return visit, or better yet, and offer.

It’s Not Being Advertised Properly – People can’t buy what they don’t know is available to them. Make sure that you get your house out there! Real estate agents can take care of this for you, but you can also feel free to share your house’s listing on your social media pages. Keep in mind, too, that a good description of your home can entice buyers into looking. Feel free to get creative, but remember to always be truthful as well. False advertising oftentimes leaves a bitter taste in the mouths of many potential buyers.

Your Home Is Cluttered – Really want to sell your place? Bite the bullet and really do some de-cluttering. It’s a pain, but it will really help your buyers see your home’s many wonderful features, and they can easily visualize themselves living there. It’s tough to live with the minimal things and to not have your video game systems or scrapbooking materials all out for immediate usage, but it can make a huge difference!

Your Curb Appeal Is Unappealing – Walk across the street and take a long objective look at your home. How does it look? If it looks less than desirable (or downright terrible), what makes you think that buyers will want to come in only to be let down by a potential disaster inside? Present them with a delectable package by improving your curb appeal. If the paint is cracking, give it a fresh paint job. If there are weeds, get down and dirty and pull them out. If the lighting is less than stellar, find illuminating, inexpensive solutions. And of course, be sure to set out plenty of beautiful, low-maintenance flowers to give the exterior a pop of color! You can find more tips on how to up your curb appeal game at our blog here!

The Location or Floor Plan Is Poor – This isn’t your fault, and there really isn’t much you can do about these problems. However, there are certain things you can do to make it seem appealing! If your home is located in a less-than-desirable location (whether it’s too rural or too city-life), highlight your home’s best selling points. If you find that your floor plan is, well, quirky at best, try to dress it up some. For small yards, ramp up the landscaping. If your bathroom is tiny, dress it up with a light, neutral paint color, and give it a luxurious feel with plush white towels and fresh flowers.

Of course, an excellent team of trustworthy, competent real estate agents can also help you get your home sold. If you’re ready to move or are looking for that place you want to call home, give The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties a ring! We’re just a phone call away at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298, and you can learn more about us or check out our listings online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

7 Clever Ways to Sell Your Home in the Fall (and Still Decorate for the Season!)

decorate for fall while selling homeIf you’ve had your home on the market this year during the warmer months and it’s still sitting on the market, you might be dreading the impending days of fall that will soon be upon us. You’ve heard the myth over and over again about how difficult (or impossible) it is to sell a home in the cool months of fall and winter, and you’re worried that you’ll have to either have your house continue to sit idly on the market or take it off until next spring.

Who said that fall is the time when you need to hang up your hat and wait for the blossoms of spring to bloom to relocate? Before you resign yourself and your home to defeat, check out these 7 tips to help you invite potential homebuyers into your home this fall! We actually think that, if done correctly, you can easily make homebuyers “fall” in love with your home this season (See what we did there?)!

Less Is More – When it comes to fall (or any season, really), it can be so easy to pile on the decorations; however, when you’re trying to sell your home, it isn’t the wisest decision. Scale back on the decorations a bit so they won’t overshadow your home’s many wonderful features. That doesn’t mean you can’t put out anything! Feel free to add some tasteful accents with vases of fall foliage, bowls of seasonal fruit, and carefully picked pumpkins (real or otherwise). These can create an inviting environment and can give your home a fresh feeling.

Think Warm Wall Colors – A fresh coat of paint is always a good idea. It helps breathe life into worn walls and doesn’t cost much of anything to do! This time of year, try embracing warmer wall colors that will draw in people and make them want to stay for a while (or forever). Think rich shades of caramel and cream, and accent them with golds, oranges, or scarlets.

Bring In the Light – With the fall season come shorter and shorter days. Lighting is a big factor when it comes to selling homes, though. After all, who wants to live in a dark and gloomy place? Make sure to let the light in as much as possible to accent your home’s features. Open the blinds and pull back the curtains to let in as much natural light as possible, and try to place plenty of lamps of different heights throughout the house for additional illumination.

Make Them Feel Comfortable – Whenever the heat dies down and the cooler weather comes in, warm and cozy rooms will make potential homebuyers want to hang around and enjoy the scenery. Make your home nice and cozy with comforting accents – a throw over a comfortable couch, plush pillows in your favorite chair, and cozy fabrics throughout. The homebuyers won’t be able to help envisioning themselves enjoying life in your space!

Delight With Seasonal Scents – What’s one of the first things you think of when you think of fall? The scents of the season! Bring autumn in with the intoxicating scents of fall like apples, cinnamon, and pumpkin. Just before your potential homebuyers come in, burn a cinnamon-scented candle or simmer a pot of apple cider on the stove. You can go the extra mile by providing fresh warm apple cider in a thermos and cups for your guests to enjoy! Trust us, hospitality goes a long way!

Think Luxurious – When you walk into a nice hotel that’s decked out with plush towels and a luxurious looking bed with plush pillows, you feel like you never want to leave! Make your home like a fancy hotel – layer your bed with silky fabrics, and display some plush towels in the bathroom. You don’t have to spend a lot of money either. There are several stores that offer inexpensive but plush options for your home!

Ramp Up the Curb Appeal – The fall leaves sure are pretty to look at, but they aren’t what a potential homebuyer wants to see when they pull up to the curb because they don’t want to think about all the potential maintenance they’d have to do. Take extra care to rake the lawn regularly, clean the gutters and downspouts, and placing some pretty mums and fall foliage around the yard. After all, your home’s interior can look beautiful and inviting, but if you don’t have curb appeal, potential homebuyers will continue driving by.

Ready to sell your home? Need help with the homebuying or selling process? Trust no other than the Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties! Get started today at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 or learn more about us at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

8 Amazing Things You Can Experience When You Live in the Metro East St. Louis Area

STLWhen people are asked about their ideal location to live in, they might envision somewhere that’s close to the beach, a home that’s nestled deep in the woods at a foot of a beautiful mountain, or maybe right in the middle of their favorite city. It can be somewhat rare for people to just up and say that they dream of living right in the heart of the Midwest, and we think that those people are definitely missing out.

Not sure what the Metro East St. Louis region is like or why you should ever move there? Here are 8 of the countless things the residents here get to enjoy year in and year out!

Sports Fans Can Feel at Home – Whether you’re into major league sports, college sports, or just want to cheer on the little leaguer in your life, there are tons of sports for everyone to enjoy at every age and level. You can watch a big baseball, hockey, or football game in St. Louis, cheer on students in their own teams in school or in various leagues, or even make a team yourself and play at one of the many parks that the Metro East St. Louis area has to offer. Sports are everywhere around here!

History Buffs Love It, Too – The St. Louis region is absolutely rich in historical events, buildings, and more. From the haunted lore of Alton to the rich history of the St. Louis Arch and everything in between, you will find plenty of interesting facts, buildings, and locations to visit, often for free!

Enjoy the Great Outdoors on the Trails – This area of the Metro East St. Louis region, particularly in Madison County, boasts a great deal of smooth, beautiful trails for cyclists, walkers, families, pet owners, and, well, just about anyone and everyone to enjoy! Many of these amazing trails can extend as far away as Staunton, Alhambra, or the ever-stunning Pere Marquette State Park. With so many trails to choose from, the possibilities are nearly endless!

It’s Great For Students – Education on all levels is absolutely wonderful in the Metro East St. Louis region. St. Louis itself boasts many top-notch universities including Washington University, Fontbonne University, St. Louis University, and many others. If you don’t want to go to the big city to get a quality education, you don’t have to! For elementary and secondary students, schools like Edwardsville and O’Fallon, Illinois are some of the nation’s top schools. For higher education, students can get a fantastic educational experience from many Illinois institutes like McKendree University, SIU-E, Greenville College, Southwestern Illinois College, and many others!

So Many Hobbies, So Little Time – Whether you love going to the movies, making your rounds at the mall, or just relaxing in the great outdoors, the Metro East St. Louis region has something for pretty much everyone. There are several malls and outlet malls for shoppers to enjoy, many excellent cinemas and movie theatres for the movie buffs, and plenty of fun things to do both in and out of the city. From the ever-fun City Museum to watching the eagles snatch prey from the mighty Mississippi in Alton in the wintertime and everything in between, we promise that you’ll never be bored here!

It’s a Mecca for Artists – The wonderful thing about St. Louis and the area around it is that it really treasures art. There are so many wonderful places to see art from the St. Louis Art Museum to various art festivals including the Schlafly Art Outside Art Festival, which draws over 10,000 people annually (and is coming up next month from the 11th to the 13th!). Art and local artists are celebrated here, so if you’re into art, you will definitely feel at home quickly!

Transportation Is a Breeze – While having a car might be pretty helpful to get from point A to point B, there are so many different ways to get places (and many different routes to take as well!). Centrally located right in the middle of the nation, St. Louis is surrounded by several interstates that can take you pretty much any direction you want to go pretty easily. You can also find plenty of easy-access public transportation through the Metro buses and the ever-handy MetroLink, which spans from Scott Air Force Base near Shiloh, Illinois to Lambert Airport and Shrewsbury, Missouri.

Vivid, Beautiful Seasons – Have you ever wanted to live somewhere that has “all 4 seasons”? The Metro East St. Louis region is the perfect place! Spring features plenty of beautiful blooms and refreshing rains, and summer is never a dull moment as you hop into the nearest pool or waterslide to cool down from the summer heat. The fall foliage is some of the most beautiful in the nation, especially in Southern Illinois and on the Great River Road, and snow bunnies will enjoy the joys that the winter season brings (snowball fights, anyone?).

Ready to move? Good news! There are so many fantastic choices out there in this part of the country, and we can help you get here! Just call us at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started. You can even personally view the listings and take virtual tours of the homes you like on our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

9 of the Most Common Basement Problems (and How You Can Fix Them)

basementIf you’re a homeowner and have a basement, you probably have run into a problem or two firsthand in the lower level of your home. Whether it’s an unfinished placed used as storage or it’s a finished area that is used as a family area, problems can always arise when it comes to basements, ranging from minor issues to glaring problems.

Luckily, there are ways to fix all basement problems, big and small! Read on to learn about the most common issues that happen with basements and what you can do to fix or prevent them!

There’s Mold and Mildew – If this is you, don’t fret! This is actually the most common issue of all when it comes to basements. Keeping your basement mold-free is essential, especially because breathing in moldy air can cause headaches, breathing problems, allergic reactions, and more. Prevent mold and mildew from happening by keeping a trusty dehumidifier in the basement – this will help wick away the moisture in the air.

The Walls Are Caving In – Well, okay, the walls are more likely bowing, not caving in. When cracks go without being fixed, walls can start buckling or bowing. The best fix for this is to employ a wall anchor system for your walls to stay sturdy.

The Floors are Sinking – Have you been noticing that your floor is dipping or sinking over time? This can happen when the soil underneath the floor starts to erode, thanks to water. Unfortunately, this leaves little support for your home’s foundation. Let the professionals come out and handle this issue for you to keep your house standing strong for years to come!

The Sump Pump Failed – You know your sump pump is out of commission when water backs up (which can cause flooding in the basement). The best way to stop your sump pump from failing is to have a professional provide regular checkups to make sure that it’s still functioning properly – otherwise, you could have a real mess on your hands!

There Are Cracks Everywhere! Your basement takes a beating sometimes. When the soil outside absorbs a great deal of rainwater, the ground will expand. This puts a lot of pressure on your foundation’s walls, which can then create cracks in the walls. Don’t leave these cracks alone! Get them filled in to help keep your foundation strong.

The Basement Is Leaking – Speaking of water and cracks, if those cracks in your basement’s walls aren’t taken care of, you could have some wall leaks to deal with. Water can enter your basement and cause a lot of other problems if this is left unattended. Just get those cracks filled in, and you should have nothing to worry about!

The Basement Has Flooded – There are several causes to basement flooding including backed up drainage, bad leaks, or pipes bursting. Whatever the reason, your basement will need to be dried once you remove the water, and the issue will need to be fixed as soon as possible. Remember, a wet basement can lead to a host of other issues!

What’s That Smell? Basements can (but shouldn’t) have, well, interesting smells. When it becomes humid, it’s quite easy for odors to develop. The usual culprits to this usually include mold, rot, or dust mites. This is pretty easy to fix, though! Just get a trusty dehumidifier and air out your basement to get rid of that odor.

It Looks Just Terrible – Basements can look pretty creepy, but they don’t need to get that way! Water can wreak havoc on finished and unfinished basements – the floors get nasty, walls can get chipped and cracked, and the whole space can start to smell. If you seal any entry points so that water stays out, the problem can pretty much be prevented before it can even start!

So what’s the best way to make sure your basement never faces these problems? Take good care of it. Make sure that your systems get regular checkups from the professionals, keep a dehumidifier down there, and make sure that water never gets in (and if it does, take care of it ASAP). A clean and dry basement means a safe and healthy environment for many years!

If you’re in the hunt for a place to call your own (with or without the basement), we’re the experts for you! Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started! You can even go online and check out all of our current listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com.

9 Crucial Steps to Take Before Listing Your Home on the Market

selling your homeWhen you decide that you want to put your home on the market, it can be both very exciting and also very stressful. There are several factors that go into successfully selling a home, including pricing, visual appeal, and location, just to name a few. Even though the process is much easier with a trusty real estate agent by your side, it can be quite overwhelming if you’re not sure what to do.

No need to stress! Just read the following 9 items below to help you have a good idea about what you need to do before putting your house on the market.

Find the Right Agent – Before putting your house on the market, you will want to find a trustworthy real estate agent to help you through the process. Your agent will help you figure out the necessary steps to take (they can even do a walk-through of your house to give you suggestions for repairs or improvements to help you sell faster), so be sure to find a reliable agent first!

Have a Down Payment Ready – Whether you’re paying a 20% down payment or something lower or higher, you will want to make sure that you have some money set aside for the new home you will be purchasing. If you have equity in your current home, you can access that once you’ve found a buyer.

Get Your Financing Together – When it comes to getting your financial house in order, finding a reputable lender to get pre-approved for your next purchase is the way to go. Research what banks, brokers, credit unions, and other qualified lenders are offering to see which would be the best for you.

Understand Your Local Market – That’s right, when you put your house on the market, you need to know what’s going on in your local real estate market! Are houses selling like hotcakes, or have they been on the market for a long time, even for reasonable prices? Read up on what’s going on around you and keep open lines of communication with your real estate agent.

Do Necessary Repairs – Now that you have the monetary parts of the plan in place, it’s time to do some repairs to make your home look the best it can. Even minor repairs and upgrades can help make your home look stunning to a potential homebuyer! Consider replacing old worn-out doorknobs, upgrading boring bathroom fixtures, patching and painting any walls that may require it, and sprucing up your curb appeal with beautiful, easy-maintenance plants and flowers to make your home look irresistible!

De-Clutter – No one likes walking through a home with too much stuff lying around. Make your home neat and tidy by de-cluttering your rooms and closets. Put away the knick-knacks, the overflowing stacks of DVDs and video games, and mountains of papers to give your home a clean, inviting look. Consider putting some of your things and furniture in a storage unit for the time begin in order to stage your home perfectly for the potential buyers!

Maintain Good Curb Appeal – We mentioned curb appeal a few points back, and we’re mentioning it here again because it is that important! The first impression is always the most important, and that’s why you’ll want to make sure that your lawn is looking lively and elegant. Touch up any peeling exterior paint, put away any lawn tools or toys that may be lying in the middle of the yard, and make sure that your plants are pruned and well-maintained. Good curb appeal will make buyers want to come inside to see more!

Take Yourself Out of the Equation – Look around when you walk into your home, and we mean really look around. Do you see a lot of your personality in your home? Chances are you might, and while that’s great for you, it’s not the best for your prospective buyer. They will have a harder time seeing themselves living in your home if you have lots of personal photos and knickknacks lying around. Do your best to box up your personal things to help provide a neutral, elegant setting for your potential homebuyer to browse.

Clean, Clean, Clean (and Keep It That Way!) – Before you announce that your home is for sale, you’d better make sure that your home is spotless! Don’t just dust and vacuum – deep clean your home! The potential buyers will be looking around everywhere, and a clean home is much more appealing than a dirty, cob-webby home. The work doesn’t stop once you’ve cleaned your home. You will want to make sure that you keep it clean while it’s on the market. You never know when someone will want to look at your home!

Remember our first big task that we mentioned at the beginning of this post? The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help with that! Check us out online at www.dianamasseyhomes.com or call us to get started at either (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298.

4 Major Questions You Need to Consider Before You Move on to A Bigger, Better Home

questions to ask before movingYou’ve bought your first home, and you’ve lived in it happily for a few years. Now, though, you’re thinking about moving to a different home either in the same neighborhood or a different town altogether. The question is this – how do you know if you’re actually ready to upgrade to a bigger, better home?

When you purchased your first home, you were probably in love with it. It suited your old life to a tee. But now that life has happened – whether it’s a bigger family, a bigger paycheck, or maybe even a little bit of both – you might start to feel a little bit cramped in your abode.

To answer the question simply, you know it’s time to move on to bigger and better when your quality of life begins to suffer. Upgrading doesn’t necessarily mean getting a huge, brand-new house with all the works. It can mean moving into a larger, nicer home in the same town or even moving into a similar space in a town or city that you really enjoy. Upgrading doesn’t just mean a better space to live – it also means that you’re upgrading to a better, happier you!

Before you begin house hunting, though, there are a few vital questions you need to ask yourself. Consider these 4 questions when you start to think about trading up!

“Can I Really Afford It?”

Upgrading to a better home, whatever that means, typically means that more money will be needed. You’re probably feeling pretty comfortable with your current mortgage payments, but will you really be able to handle a larger one? Consider also the increased care and maintenance a larger, better home will need and think about how it will affect your budget. You want to make sure that you will be comfortable and not hurting for money if you go bigger and better.

“Are My Finances In Good Shape?”

Now take a good look at your finances. Lenders will be reviewing your income, debts, assets, and liabilities closely when you want to buy a different home. You’ll need a healthy credit score in order to get the most competitive interest rates, too. If you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can request a free one from Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion.

“Can I Successfully Sell My Home?”

If you’re like most people, you will probably need to sell your current home before you buy, unless you’re prepared and willing to carry 2 mortgages. You’ll want to make sure that your current home is staged properly and looking sharp to attract would-be buyers. Take the time to look around your home, identify anything that may need some fixing, and create a haven that potential homebuyers won’t be able to resist!

“How Will This Affect My Utilities and Taxes?”

When you buy a larger or better home, it can easily inflate your taxes and utility bills. You may need to buy better equipment to help you maintain your home and land, and you could be spending more money on taxes. Remember, you’re not just buying a home – you’re also buying a mortgage!

If you’re looking to upgrade and move on to the bigger and better in the Edwardsville area, the professionals at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties can help! We’ll help you find the perfect home for you and also help you sell your current home. Just give us a call at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 today! You can also get a head-start on your search by checking out all of our great listings at www.dianamasseyhomes.com. There’s bound to be something perfect for you here in beautiful Edwardsville!

10 Expert Painting Tips Every Beginner Should Know

paint cansPainting your interior walls is one of the easiest ways you can give your home a fresher-upper, but without the proper care and preparations, a simple paint job can turn into a chaotic nightmare, especially if you’re painting for the first time.

If this is your first time painting and you’re reading this blog right now, don’t worry! Painting is a fun and rewarding experience and makes your home look beautiful. Read up on these 10 tips to make your painting go by more quickly and more smoothly!

Read Up on Sheen – When it comes to paint, we tend to focus on the color, but the sheen of the paint is equally as important as the colors that will be gracing your walls. Gloss, satin, and eggshell are finishes that come with many considerations. For example, gloss paint goes well in high-traffic areas since it holds up better to touching and can be cleaned much more easily; however, it doesn’t do a good job covering up imperfections like wavy drywall or patched areas. Read up on which finish suits your needs best before you look at color.

Prep the Surface – A good paint job isn’t just about how you paint – it’s also about the prep work! You’ll need to scrape, sand, patch, and fill every hole, dent, crack, and surface imperfection you encounter before picking up a paintbrush. Also, remove switch plates and doorknobs, and tape off areas that won’t be painted such as baseboards and windowsills. Don’t slack on the prep work – even the best paint in the world won’t be able to hide imperfections or cracked surfaces, so it’s definitely worth the time!

Opt for Canvas Instead of Plastic – When it comes to covering your floors, both types of dropcloths have their pros and cons. While plastic ones are inexpensive, they can be slippery when splattered with paint and can rip easily. Canvas dropcloths, however, are durable, rip-resistant, and are much less of a tripping hazard. They also absorb paint drips and can last a lifetime!

Don’t Be Afraid to Try Samples – Who says you have to go out and buy a huge gallon of paint right off the bat? For a fraction of the cost, you can buy small samples of the paint you want and see how it will work in your space firsthand. It’s a huge money saver if you find you aren’t really in love with the color after all!

Do the Math First – You’ll definitely want to know the total area you’re going to paint, but when it comes to figuring out how much paint you’ll need, you will need to account for primer and multiple coats. Remember, it’s better to have extra paint left over for repairs than not enough to finish the job.

Primer Is Your Friend – Unless you decide to purchase a primer and paint all-in-one mixture, you will need to use primer on your walls, especially if you’re drastically changing the color. Primer won’t just cover up the colors and stains – it will also add a layer to the wall, which allows the top coat of paint to adhere better. This will make your paint job look even more beautiful!

Cutting In Is Allowed – Painting at the corners and edges of the wall – also called “cutting in” – allows for smoother work when you’re using larger brushes or rollers. Before you use a roller to paint the big stuff, paint the corners and edges first. This helps the paint job look more even!

Rollers Help You Save Time – Speaking of rollers, you’ll definitely want to buy some if you’re painting some walls! They help you get more done in less time! Just remember that your rollers might require some extra equipment like handles and poles. When using rollers, use an overlapping “W” motion to help you get good coverage and smooth out the lines that might be left behind.

Invest in an Extension Pole – Ladders and stepladders are great for using when you need to cut in and do some detail work up high, but extension poles to add to those rollers will be a lifesaver when it comes to painting tall walls. You’ll be able to reach up higher, especially on ceilings, without having to move and stretch as much!

Combine Gallons Into One – Ever heard of the term “boxing” when it comes to painting? It simply means combining like colors into one bucket. This is done to avoid any inconsistencies in the color of your paint! Just pour the paint into a larger, resealable bucket, stir thoroughly, and you’re set!

Selling your house but not sure which colors work best to draw in some potential homebuyers? Want more painting tips? Just call up your friends at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! If you still haven’t found your dream home, you can also check out our listings on www.dianamasseyhomes.com!

9 Tasks You Need to Check Off After You Move

moving dayWhen it comes to moving from one residence to another, we often talk about all of the things you need to do to prepare for a successful move. While it’s important to know what to expect before (and during) your move, it’s equally important to know what you need to accomplish after all of your belongings have been carried into your new home.

Get a step ahead of the game with these 9 essential tips!

Get Your Utilities Up and Running – If you haven’t been able to arrange the connection of the main house utilities before you move, go ahead and do this right away. Get your electricity, gas, and running water set up and ready to go. Once these fundamentals are addressed, consider getting access to the Internet, phone, and other important services.

Unpack the Essentials – Now it’s time to unpack the most important boxes – your bathroom and bedroom essentials. You’ll want to have the necessary toiletries available whenever you need to use the bathroom or take a shower, and you’ll also want to assemble your bed and unpack your bedding so you can curl up after a long day of moving and unpacking. Make sure you unpack your toothbrush and toothpaste, toilet paper, bath items, towels, shower curtain, and a bathrobe before you take a shower and head to bed!

Find the Fuse Box and Main Water Valve – These are two of the most important things that help keep your house in working order, and you will need to know where they are in case of emergencies or if you ever need to cut off the water supply or turn off the electricity. Become familiar with how the main water stop valve works and make sure that it functions properly by checking for any running water after the valve has been shut off. Make sure that the fuses are labeled properly as well.

Get New Locks – As soon as you can, make sure that you secure your new home by changing the locks to all the outside doors. This will ensure that you are the only one who can access your new home. Make sure to double-check that the windows and doors can close securely, and put at least one functional fire extinguisher somewhere safe in your new home.

Connect the Major Appliances – If you’ve decided to move your fridge, washing machine, and/or dishwasher over to your new home, make sure that you connect them! For how big and heavy it is, the refrigerator is the most fragile of these appliances, so take extra care when preparing, relocating, and connecting it. Make sure that you leave your fridge upright on its final kitchen spot for at least 3 full hours before plugging it in and turning it on. This allows the oil to return to the compressor, which helps make your fridge work properly.

Keep Unpacking – Now that the big things are taken care of, you will want to keep unpacking your belongings and finding new homes for them all. This is probably the most tedious and time-consuming task you will encounter when it comes to moving to a new home. Just take it one box at a time! If you really hate unpacking, consider asking a few good friends to come over and help you out in exchange for pizza and drinks.

Make It Shine – Now that you’ve unpacked your belongings, you will probably notice all the dust, dirt, and garbage that has accumulated inside your new home. Take the time to get down and clean your home – all of it. Use the cleaning products that you’d packed previously or purchase quality cleaning products to get the job done. Make everything dust-free and sparkling like new!

Change Your Address – If you weren’t able to tackle this task before you moved, go ahead and do this now. Go to the post office (or visit them online!) to change your address. Be sure to update your banks, credit card companies, insurance companies, and other important institutions of your recent change of address. Moved out of state? You’ll want to make an extra visit to your DMV to update your license information.

Enjoy! Now that you’ve completed all of the other tasks, it’s time to do one final thing – enjoy your new home! Meet the neighbors, host a housewarming party, and take the time to kick back and relax in your new home!

When it comes to buying, selling, and moving to a new home, The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties are the experts! Call (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 for all of your home needs or visit us at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to check out our current listings.

9 Ways You Can Make the Most of a Small Space

make the most of small spaceDoes your home or apartment have any small rooms that you just can’t seem to figure out? Do you always feel too cramped in your space and haven’t discovered any good ideas to not only make your space feel bigger but also maximize your usage of all the space in front of you?

Living in a small space can be challenging, but with a few good tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can optimize your space and come to love your small space! Here are 9 tips to help you do just that!

Think Vertically – Don’t let the vertical space go to waste! Use shelves as storage or hang art to bring a punch of color to your space. It will draw the eyes up and make the space feel more expansive than it actually is.

Install Cabinets That Reach the Ceiling – In the same vein as the previous tip, try to put these sorts of cabinets in your kitchen to help you store all of your dining materials. If you can, opt for light-colored cabinets or those that have glass-front doors to help lighten up the space and make it feel more luxurious. Too many cabinets, especially dark ones, will make the room feel smaller than it is.

Be Smart With Cleaning Supplies – Instead of storing multiple cleaning supplies in several rooms, fill a cleaning caddy with supplies that can be stored in the kitchen yet can still be transported around your home for cleaning. It will save you space and be more convenient when it comes to cleaning house!

Hang Up Your Flat Screen – Need some space in the living room? Try mounting your flat screen television on the wall. This will give you more space and will eliminate the need for a stand or an entertainment unit.

Hang Shelves Above the Toilet – The unused space on the wall behind the toilet is perfect for storing some of your bathroom necessities, especially if you have a tiny bathroom! Use decorative boxes on the shelves you install to hide the clutter, and label the boxes so that your items are easy to find.

Embrace Multifunctional Pieces – When it comes to small spaces, things that are multifunctional should be employed as often as possible. Find a table that can function as a dining table and possibly a desk as well. Get a deep sofa or even a daybed that can easily be turned into a guest bed when your friends stay over. Bring home a storage ottoman to give you extra seating, a little table, and a place to stash blankets. These pieces can help you transform a room in no time!

Trick Your Eyes – Just because you have a small space doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to make it appear larger! Create an illusion of expansiveness by using decorative slight of hand. Floor-to-ceiling curtains, see-through furnishings, and strategically-placed mirrors are some great examples to help make the room appear larger than it really is.

Use Bigger But Fewer Pieces of Furniture – Though it might seem counterintuitive, using just a few larger pieces of furniture in a small space can make the room seem grand. Invest in a large couch for your small living room instead of three or four smaller pieces, for instance.

Don’t Be Afraid to Customize – Customized pieces in a small space can help you stay more organized while letting your space look amazing. Built-ins, storage nooks, and other pieces of furniture that are tailored to your exact needs can help you utilize every teeny tiny bit of space your home has to offer.

If you still aren’t satisfied living in close quarters, just pick up the phone and call the experts at The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298! Visit our website at www.dianamasseyhomes.com to see our current listings and find the home of your dreams!