Real Estate Information Archive


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Affordable and Easy Ways to Bring Buyers to Your Home

by Gary Nelson

Spring and summer months are always the best time of year to sell your home in Flagstaff. And it’s not too late to take advantage of this hot market.  So how do you make your home stand out from the crowd?  If your home looks like it’s taken care of, that will go a long way to making the sale. And the great news is that you can make your home have a great first impression without making a great impression on your wallet. Here’s a few tips.

1. Pressure-washing

If you get rid of the grit and grime that builds up during the winter on your home, it will make a huge difference, and it’s inexpensive. Just be sure that your pressure washer setting is strong enough to remove the mold and sludge without lifting the paint or splinter the wood. Renting a gas-powered pressure washer will cost about $80 a day.  Or better yet, spend a little more to buy one for later use in your new home.

2. A Pretty Porch

First impressions are everything, and your porch is going to speak volumes about the rest of the home.  Pat Vredevoogd Combs, a former National Association of Realtors®  president based in Grand Rapids, Michigan says he hears buyers say: “‘If they can’t keep up the outside of the house, what are they hiding on the inside?’” Keeping your porch clean is relatively easy and will make a huge difference.

3. Clean Outside Windows

This is not as hard as it sounds. If you use a cleaning product that attaches to your hose, it will be an inexpensive and easy task. Just spray the solution on the glass, and then follow with a rinse spray. Then just simply let it dry or squeegee it.

4. Paint the Front Door

In addition to your porch, your front door also tells a tale. So why not liven it up with a fresh coat of paint? If you use a premium one-coat exterior paint, it will reduce time and money as it doesn’t need a primer. Also use a semi-gloss as opposed to high gloss, as high gloss will reveal imperfections. All of this will cost about $35.

5. Shiny New Numbers

Does your house have those old small numbers that are hard to read? Buy some new ones that are shiny, big and bold. Get ones that are about 5 inches tall. Place them on the house by pretending you’re someone trying to find the house number that’s never been there before.

6. Porch Lights

Your porch light has probably never been replaced or cleaned, so now is a perfect time. Go with a contemporary finish like black, brushed nickel or oiled brass. And if you’re out of money, try using restoring wipes like Rust-Oleum or Rejuvenate to renew surfaces.

Just these few simple and affordable steps can help you sell your home faster and make more money.  So why not start now? Check back on our blog every week for more real estate and home care advice. 

Should You Add a Deck?

by Gary Nelson

What to consider when building a deck in FlagstaffIs building a deck on your to-do list for your home?  Without a doubt, it’s a great way to enjoy the beautiful scenery in Flagstaff.  What really matters though, is how much you want to spend and what type of deck is best for your home. According to Remodeling magazine’s “2018 Cost vs. Value Report,” a wood deck on average can cost around $10,000, while a composite deck can set you back almost $18,000. The report was based on a national review of costs based on a 16x20 deck with pressure-treated joists, a built-in bench and planter.

In the end, the cost for your deck will depend largely on size, style, and the contractor.  However, you can get an idea in advance of how much it will cost overall.

How much does it cost to build a deck?

You need to consider a number of items to determine final costs. Installation is one of the largest factors.  Determining installation costs will go a long way in ascertaining the final cost. According to Andrew Wormer, editor of Professional Deck Builder magazine: “For every dollar spent on materials and supplies, expect to spend another dollar to have it installed.” Some contractors cover both labor and materials in their quote.

Planning Your Deck Installation

Set Limits: Building a deck is no different than building any room. You’ll need to follow local Flagstaff building and zoning codes, which may end up determining the size of the project. When it comes to upkeep, you need to plan for the future.  Synthetic materials cost more up front, but they don’t need as much maintenance, costing less overall.

Budget: Set a budget by making a “wants” and “needs” list. Set a limit on the total price you’re able and willing to pay. The size of your home also should be considered. The deck needs to be proportional to the size of your home.  It may look find of funny if you have a large home with a tiny deck. And if your home is smaller, an elaborate deck might not make sense either. Also, check with your homeowner’s insurance to see about the need for additional insurance for your deck.

Find the Right Contractor:  This is a big one. Finding the right contractor will make all the difference, but make sure to do your research. Try to get quotes from at least 3 contractors so that you get a fair price.  Also check online reviews, and ask potential contractors for photos of past projects.  You should also check with your local building department to make sure they are licensed, bonded, and insured.

Reducing Costs

There’s more than a few ways to reduce costs. Stay away from fancy design features. You can reduce the overall size of the project to help reduce costs. The right materials also makes a difference. Untreated decks cost less to install, but more to maintain. The reverse is true for composite decks. Also, if you build during the fall or winter, it could save you more, as contractors have fewer jobs and may be inclined to reduce their costs.

Building a deck is a great way to increase the value of your home, both in how you enjoy living in it now and in the future when you decide to sell it. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate and home care advice. 

Add New Life to Your Home with an Indoor Garden

by Gary Nelson

Add New Life to Your Home with an Indoor Garden

If there’s ever been one constant in home décor over the centuries, it’s been the indoor garden. Indoor gardens come in all shapes in sizes, from just a few plant carefully placed to elaborate displays. But there’s so much more to an indoor garden than just making your home look good.  Taking care of an indoor garden has been proven to reduce stress. So having an indoor garden can be a win, win scenario for sure. Here’s a few tips that can help you on your way to having success at starting your own home garden.

Some might hesitate to start a garden because they don’t think they have the green thumb like mother had. Better Homes and Gardens, all the way back in 1939, had this to say regarding “green thumbs”: “Mother's and grandmother's plants grew, not because of green thumbs, but because they were treated as living, feeling beings that required the same common-sense care as the canary or any other house pet."

And that’s just it: all you need to cultivate indoor plants is common sense. Just starting with the basics will help you gain success.  Sunlight and water are certainly the essentials, along with other factors such as nutrients, cleansing and care to deal with the dry environment of your home. Taking care of these basics will help you care for a garden you’ll be proud of.

Let There Be Light

Of course, light is the first step to helping plants thrive. How much light a plant needs depends on the type of plant and it’s native environment. Doing some basic research will give you the information you need on how much light your desired plant needs. Then consider your home’s design. Older homes, especially those from the Victorian era, were designed to let in plenty of light, making them ideal for indoor gardens. But not all of us live in such a home. Newer homes and apartments present a little more of a challenge because there are fewer natural light sources. But don’t let a little challenge stop you.

Most plants will thrive in south facing windows, as there are more hours of light for your plants to soak up what they need for photosynthesis. But if you only have north facing windows, try going with plants that require minimal light, such as a fern, spider plant, or African violet. Pothos don’t need any light to thrive, in case you have very little to no natural light available.

Get With the Program

Try to set a schedule for regular plant care, as this will also help them thrive.  This is also where research can be a big help. Make sure to schedule to water and feed your plants with plant food or fertilizer.  Cleaning the leaves of larger plants with a damp cloth periodically will help them stay healthy. Also check for mold or pests as this will indicate if your routine is effective. Periodically trim or thin out your plants on occasion.  You may also have to repot large plants in larger pots as they grow.

If your schedule doesn’t permit this level of commitment, why not start with plants that don’t require as much attention? Cactus, succulents, or bamboo plants are ideal choices. Succulents are a popular choice as they are easy to care for and offer unique textures and colors.

Of course there’s more to consider when it comes to having a thriving indoor garden. But with planning and patience, you can succeed. Check back on our blog every week for more real estate and home care advice. 

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

Contact Information

The Gary Nelson Group
Realty Executives of Flagsaff
15 E. Cherry Ave. Suite 101
Flagstaff AZ 86001
Direct: 928-225-3510
Office: 928-773-9300
Fax: 928-774-1102