Kitchen Decluttering Tips

Okay, so a few months back you had your kitchen renovated and had awesome marble countertops installed in your kitchen area and island. You are totally amazed by the results and you have been enjoying it ever since. You’ve been so inspired in cooking and creating dishes like a true Chef, until one day, you just find yourself searching for an item into a pile of stuff on your kitchen island and realized that clutter was never there when the kitchen was new. It’s definitely a sign that you need a serious decluttering moment with your kitchen.

DECLUTTERING 101: THE KITCHEN

Remember this, any flat and empty surfaces are like an open invitation to place something down and leave it for – God knows when you can remember. A single item and ultimately evolve into a clutter over time. Since the kitchen area is where your entire hood spends much of your time daily, the counter spaces seem to be an open parking lot of items of any sort. If you get to find your razor in the kitchen, by all means, dedicate and focus your attention in bringing back what your kitchen looks like.

THE TYPES OF KITCHEN COUNTER CLUTTER

There are actually three classifications of kitchen clutter and it’s best that you attend to them one class at a time.

TYPE 1:

Stuff That Doesn’t Belong In Your Kitchen

  • These are the items that are not for kitchen use like school books, hammer, nails, hair spray, and a lot more. Now, these items are a lot easier to work with since you can easily classify that do not belong to the kitchen area, but for some “you don’t remember” episodes, it’s just there. All have to do is to simply sort them all and place them back where they belong, respectively.

TYPE 2:

Paper Clutter

  • Paper is one of the items you will always see in any cluttered areas in the house or office. If you happen to have a lot of paper clutter and you wanted to sort them while clearing kitchen counters, better yet collect them all from the kitchen place them in a small box or folders then set them aside. You can deal with them right after you’re done with the kitchen pile. If you are ready to sort out your papers, carefully go through each of them and segregate which one should stay on file and which one goes straight into the shredding machine.

TYPE 3:

Stuff That Belongs In The Kitchen, But Maybe Not On Your Counters

  • This third type is the kind of clutter that is also the hardest to sort out. These are the things that belong to the kitchen, but should never be placed on the counter and rather should be kept in a cabinet or drawer.  Or sometimes is really a clutter that should be completely disposed.
  • One example that is part of this clutter classification are some appliances that you use, but for a few times only. Now, ask yourself again: How often do you use it? Where can you keep it after use? Will you be able to easily get it in case you will be needing it again?
  • There are some people who are so sentimental when it comes to the home items that they refused to dispose of them even when they are no longer needed. While some find old appliance or some kitchen decorative as an element that will make the kitchen space look warm and homey.
  • Some individuals prefer the minimalist concept where kitchen counters should be cleared and only a few items are placed on the counters and island.
  • Make it a habit to clear your kitchen counters until you are satisfied with the outcome. The need to go back and forth is part of the decluttering process because of the various items that had been overstaying in your kitchen for quite a while now. You can move them to a drawer or cabinet just see to it that you will be checking back on those items again to see if there’s any that shouldn’t be there. Also, remind the rest of the family to help in keeping the kitchen clear of any clutter so they should be responsible for their own stuff and never leave anything on the counter.

Kitchen decluttering should be a daily habit if you wanted to keep an organized and clean kitchen area. The granite countertop installers Reston wouldn’t be pleased to see the counter they have installed cluttered with all sorts of stuff from all over the house. Imagine how relaxing it would be to see your kitchen space immaculately clear with just the appropriate minimal décors. It’s a breeze to start preparing food again.

Buyers Agent DC: Tips To Consider When Buying A House

Are you looking to buy a house? You need to pay attention to plenty of tips for you to buy the right one. Some of the tips that you need to consider as given by buyer’s agent DC include:

Understand what you can afford first

When many people decide to buy a house, they go online and see the houses in the neighborhoods that they are interested in. While there is nothing wrong with this, in most cases, you end up getting hurt. This is because you most likely won’t afford the house that you have your eyes on.

The first thing you should do is to visit your financial institution and check your credit. How much can you afford? How much can you comfortably pay as mortgage? When you have this information, you will have a clear idea of what you should be looking for.

If you are comfortable with what you can afford, you should go ahead and make the purchase but if you don’t like what you can afford, you should take your time and continue renting until you can afford to make the necessary payments.

Have an agent by your side

A real estate agent isn’t always necessary as you can find the house that you want, contact the owner and proceed with the purchasing process. While this is the case, there are plenty of benefits that come with hiring an agent.

One of the benefits is that you can have access to many houses that you didn’t know existed. Few homeowners sell houses by themselves; therefore, when you rely solely on these houses, you will be in for a rude shock.

If this is the first time you are buying a house, you might not be clear on what you should look out for. The real estate agent you hire will help you in identifying the features that you should go for depending on your needs.

When you hire the right agent, he/she will be your partner and he/she will even help you in negotiating the house prices. While you might have to pay the agent a fee, you might end up saving a lot of money in the long run.

Now is always the best time

Just like any other market, the real estate market is highly unpredictable. Many people tend to postpone buying houses with the hope that the prices will go down, but this doesn’t always happen.

You should note that it’s hard to pinpoint the time that the prices will go down so that you can make the purchase. According to realtors, you are able to identify the valleys and peaks 8-9 months after they have happened. This means that if you wait, you might not get in at the right time.

Instead of waiting for the right time, you should go ahead and make the purchase if you are ready to buy. For you to be certain that you aren’t making a mistake or buying the wrong house, you should consult an experienced real estate professional.

The best time to buy is when you are ready financially and emotionally. If you are ready, get a reputable real estate agent and take the plunge. You don’t have to wait for the perfect time, as there isn’t.

Don’t buy as much as you qualify for

To get as much as possible from the lenders limit, many homebuyers buy a house that costs as much as they qualify. You should note that the lenders limit isn’t your budget. In most cases, your lender will require you to commit up to half of your gross income into your monthly payments.

Are you ready to be parting with half of your income to make house payments? It’s up to you to make this decision.

For you to enjoy living in your new house and life in general, you should avoid committing to making payments that stress you out. Before you make the decision, DC real estate agent recommends that you have a sitting with your spouse, family and any of your trusted advisors and determine the amount that you are comfortable with.

Don’t commit to an amount that will greatly destabilize your life.

Listing Agent DC: Tips On How To Sell Your House Fast

Listing your house announces to the world that your house is for sale. When you are looking to sell the house, you want to sell it fast, right? Here are tips given by listing agent DC on how to go about it:

Use the right keywords

Unlike decades ago when you had to list your house in a book, now you list your house on a website. What do buyers use to find your house? KEYWORDS. These are terms that the buyers put in the search engines to find their ideal houses.

For you to increase the chances of your house being found by the potential buyers, ensure that you use the right keywords to describe your house. The best way of going about is to put yourself in the buyers’ shoes. Think what they might key in the search engines to find your house. For example, they can use, “three-bedroom house Washington.”

If you are unsure about how to go about, ask a professional real estate agent to help you out.

Have mind-blowing photos

You can follow all the right SEO practices to get your house noticed but there is no way you are going to make the sale if your photos are mediocre. To attract people to your house you need to use professional, high-quality photos.

Take photos of the integral parts of the house. These include: the kitchen, bathroom, backyard, bedrooms, living rooms, and any other parts that give the buyers a clear picture of the look of the house.

For you to have an edge over the other house sellers, don’t use your mobile phone to take pictures. The best way out is to get a decent camera and artificial lighting and take professional shots. If you have some money to spend, consider hiring a professional photographer to take the shots for you.

Promote your listing

It’s possible to simply list your house and offers will start rolling in, but if there is a lot of competition, you need to promote the listing. With the advent of social media, your work becomes extremely easy.

One of the best platforms to use is Facebook. Find Facebook groups of people discussing real estate and share your listing there. Remember to include photos and ask for leads on the people that might be interested in the house.

You can also use email to market your listing. Do you have email addresses of people that might be interested in buying your house? You should send them your listing. When sending the list, avoid being too salesy.

Simply notify the sellers about the new list. Also, remember to ask them to get in touch in case they are interested in the house.

Have an exciting price

You need to put an exciting price on your house for you to attract buyers. Studies show that many homeowners overvalue their houses by up to 8%. This leads to them placing extremely high prices on their houses thus failing to attract buyers. Don’t do this.

There are plenty of factors you need to consider for you to price your house appropriately. Some of these factors include: the location of the house, the presence of social amenities, the age of the house, and many other things.

Is this the first time you are valuing the house? Chances are that you will make plenty of mistakes. For you to avoid making the mistakes, let a real estate professional help you.

Make it easy to view the house

If you have done all the right things up to this point, you should be having offers coming your way. For the buyers to buy the house they need to see it. It’s your responsibility to make it easy to view the house.

Many people schedule house showing around their daily activities. Don’t do this. Seller’s agent DC recommend that you have a lock box on the front door where the buyers can get the keys and view the house by themselves.

Over eighty percent of buyers who would come through the lockbox will be accompanied by an agent; therefore, you don’t have to worry. The few that don’t have an agent, you should schedule a viewing time that is comfortable for the both of you.

Realtors DC: Tips On How To Buy The House Of Your Dreams

House buying, especially for first-time house buyers can be scary. This is because when you buy a house, you have to stick with it for a long time. Also, the purchase involves a lot of money that you might have saved for years.

Is this the first time you are buying a house? Here are tips given by realtors DC on how to have an easy time making the expensive and scaring purchase:

Work with a home agent

When most people want to buy houses, they go online and take a look at different pictures. The unfortunate thing is that they don’t know how to progress from there. Is this you? When you are making the purchase, you should find a professional real estate agent.

Think of the agent as a godparent who is with you for your own good and wants your dreams to turn into reality. The agent will guide you through the house buying process. The expert will help you find the right property, help you in writing a winning offer, and help you in negotiating home inspection repairs.

For you to have an easy time buying the house you need an experienced agent who has been in the industry for a long time and fully understands the house buying process.

Be ready for serious competition

Are you looking for a house in a highly competitive neighborhood? You should be ready for cutthroat competition from other buyers. You should note that there are many buyers out there that are willing to buy the house in cash.

In fact, according to the national association of realtors, 23% of houses are now bought in cash. Cash buyers often have an edge as they have to secure financing. This makes them highly attractive to the buyers.

Does this mean that your goose is cooked when you are competing with these buyers? Absolutely not. There are a number of things you can do to tip the scales in your favor.

One of the things you can do is to write a letter to the seller and tell him/her about you and your family. The aim of doing this is to make the house buying process personal and make them know you more. This will most likely make them sell the house to you as they will feel they know you.

Another strategy you can use is to ask the sellers their own goals for the house. If you have the same goals for the house, let them know about it and you might get the house.

Be cautious of what you read online

As mentioned above, the first place people run to when they are looking to buy a house is online. Should you believe everything you read online? Absolutely not. You should be cautious of the red flags that might put you in trouble. The most common red flags are:

  • Too urgent offer. For example, the house being advertised that the offer is only available that day
  • Listings asking for personal information such as the social security number
  • Unavailable listing agents
  • You should be smart when making the purchase. If you see something that doesn’t look right, it probably isn’t right.

Don’t fall for home staging

A study done by NAR shows that up to 1/3 of homebuyers are ready to overlook house imperfections when the house is staged. A staged house is one where furniture has been installed. While a staged house helps you visualize yourself living there, you shouldn’t fall for it.

You should still undertake the regular house inspections. Check whether the faucet is leaking, whether the drains are running properly, among many other things. Remember, the perfect rugs and fresh coat of paint might be covering stains and water damage.

When you visit the house, don’t be shy of lifting, moving, and testing whether the house is in good shape. If you find something that you don’t like, ask the seller to fix it. Don’t buy something that you won’t be proud of in the future.

Consider buying a foreclosure

Many homebuyers stay away from foreclosed and bank owned houses as they are sold as they are. The banks don’t fix them. While this is true, foreclosed houses come with their set of benefits.

One of the benefits is that they often sell at 15% below their actual value. Buyer’s agent DC also report that the houses tend to be less competitive.

Realtors DC: 6 House Pricing Mistakes That Are Putting Buyers Off

While some people get their homes into the market and sell them within a few months if not weeks, others go for years without getting a single order. According to realtors DC, one of the primary reasons why this happens is due to wrong pricing.

The Realtors report that people make plenty of mistakes when setting the prices of their houses thus putting potential buyers off. The most common mistakes made by many sellers are:

Pricing the house too high

A high price comes with the value, but this doesn’t mean that you will sell the house fast because it’s providing value. You need to be cautious of the price you set the house. If you set it too high, few people can afford it thus you get fewer or no offers at all.

Did you know that the longer your house stays in the market the cheaper it gets? According to a study done in 2012 by the MIT’s Center for eBusiness, houses that go for months without offers suffer up to $32,000 reduction in the eventual sales price.

This means that if you are looking to sell your house at the right price and fast, avoid pricing it too high.

Focusing on the price per square foot

All you need to do is take the average price per square foot in your area and multiply it by the square foot in your house and you get the perfect price to sell your house, right? Wrong.

Plenty of factors such as lot size, history of the house, extra amenities, and upgraded finishes determine the price at which you sell the house.

Due to these factors, the price per square feet varies greatly from one house to another. The only time that you can charge the same price per square foot in different houses is if the two homes are identical in everything, including their history.

Basing your price on your neighbor’s asking price

For you to know the price you are going to sell the house its natural to price it at your neighbor’s asking price.

You should note that the set price isn’t the actual price of the house. The actual market value of the house depends on many factors such as the price of similar houses in the neighborhood, among many other things.

If you aren’t sure about the right price that you should sell the house, talk to a real estate professional who will guide you on what you should do.

Relying on online price estimates

Online price estimates are easy to get as all you need to do is key in the size of your home, your neighborhood, additional features in the house, and the algorithms will determine the price for you.

While the tools are highly convenient, they aren’t accurate. The pricing algorithms are broad estimates of what you should sell your house. Remember, the algorithms don’t put into consideration the floor plan, upgraded finishes, layout, updates, and buyer demand in your neighborhood.

When you price your house solely based on online estimates, you have high chances of pricing the house too high thus making the house stay in the market for a long time.

Failing being open to negotiations

Just like when selling any other product, sticking to the asking price puts buyers off as most of them are looking to negotiate the price. Most people that don’t have room for negotiations are those looking to get the full amount that they set as the asking price.

In most cases, these are people that are looking to keep the house in the market for as long as possible. Do you want to sell your house fast? Be flexible in your pricing and provide room for negotiation.

Being too creative with the price

There are many ways of coming up with the price of the house, but it doesn’t mean you should use them. Some people make the mistake of coming up with creative ways of pricing their houses that they come up with a figure that takes the attention away from the house. This is wrong.

The best way out is to work with your real estate agent DC who will help you in coming up with a round number that is easier for both of you.