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April 5, 2022

How to Spring Clean Like a Pro

 

It’s that time of year again! It’s time to get our homes in order and give them the deep cleaning they desperately need. Sure, it may take a while but there’s no better feeling than getting your home in tip-top shape! To make sure you clean like a pro this year, follow these tips.

Create a Schedule

Spring cleaning can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Before you start cleaning, make a schedule that will work for you. If you think you can get it all done in one day, make a list of which room you will start in and work your way around the house room by room. If you don’t have a whole day to spare deep cleaning your whole house, schedule out which rooms you want to tackle over the course of a few days. Starting off with a schedule is a great way to start the spring cleaning process!

The Big Purge

You should always take the time to declutter each year. It can both give you more space in your home and it feels good to let some things go! There is a lot of stuff you can simply toss in the trash but make sure you put things in a separate pile that can be donated. A good rule of thumb to follow, especially for clothes, is if you haven’t worn or used an item in the last year then you probably can part with it.

Top-Down Cleaning

Once your schedule is created and you’ve removed clutter from your home, it’s time to start the cleaning! You should start cleaning higher surfaces such as the top of cabinets and ceiling fans, so you don’t have to clean things twice. Dust or debris can fall to the ground as you’re cleaning higher-up surfaces so save the vacuuming for last to clean up anything that falls to the floor.

Things You Might Have Missed

Even if you make a schedule to breakout what you need to clean, it can be pretty easy to forget about cleaning tasks you should take care of. Here are a few things you may have missed that you should take care of during your spring cleaning:

  • Appliances
  • Under and behind furniture
  • Light Fixtures
  • Walls and floors
  • Drawers
  • Windows and windowsills
  • Disinfect doorknobs, light switches and other surfaces that are touched often
  • Test batteries on your smoke detectors

Create A Routine

You are going to be a happy camper once you get through your spring-cleaning checklist. To make things easier on yourself going forward, create a cleaning routine to stick to so you can save yourself a little time and energy during your next spring cleaning.

 

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
March 4, 2022

Relocating for a Job Doesn’t Have to Be Terrible: Here’s How to Make It a Smooth Process

               Image via Pexels

 

Relocating for a Job Doesn’t Have to Be Terrible: Here’s How to Make It a Smooth Process

 

Whether you are excited or lamenting the thought of moving to a different area for your new job, you can set your family up for a smooth process. Chances are your new job is better than your last one.

 

Maybe you’re getting paid more, the work will be more fulfilling, or your new city will offer a better quality of life for your family. Perhaps it’s any combination of these.

 

Your relocation is a major step for everyone in your household, and you shouldn’t let the worries of moving, finding housing, adjusting to a new position, and meeting new people stress you out. Below, Aaron Weber shares some practical advice for navigating the process with minimal hiccups!

 

Maintain Your Self-Care Routines       

 

As you navigate this major life change, you will be dealing with your fair share of stress. While preparing beforehand will reduce your stress and anxiety, it’s also essential to practice self-care and keep your overall health and well-being a priority.

 

Make sure you get at least seven hours of sleep each night, even on moving day! Your body and mind cannot function at total capacity without adequate rest. Also, remember to exercise every day; 20 minutes of walking or jogging is better than nothing. If possible, try to shoot for 30 minutes of vigorous activity each day.

 

Furthermore, don’t lose sight of your diet as you transition to the next chapter. Stick to whole foods like lean proteins, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Limit the processed foods and sugars you consume, and drink plenty of water along the way.

 

Look at Several Areas

 

Your entire family must be able to settle in smoothly during the relocation, and that will require you to conduct ample research. Rather than look at a single neighborhood that a friend told you about, research several areas within close proximity to your new workplace so that you can have multiple options to compare. And consider each person in your household as you research.

 

For example, what are the schools like in each neighborhood, and are there family-friendly activities nearby? What kind of restaurants are there, and can you easily access a gym? One way to learn about local businesses and resources is to research the area through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

 

Explore Your Housing Opportunities       

 

Once you have a neighborhood in mind for your relocation, start researching the housing market. If you are moving to Middleton, WI, know that the city offers an exceptional quality of life, and the median home cost is $450,800. If you plan to buy a home, find an experienced realtor like Aaron Weber to help guide you through the process.

 

Perhaps you want to hold off on purchasing a house until your family has more time to settle in and get your bearings. In that case, you might benefit from renting a home.

 

If you move to Denver, CO, you can use websites to research potential homes and apartments within your price range. You can even filter your search by amenities and layouts and take 3D virtual tours for in-depth looks at properties. Take time to research the best apartments in Denver until you find a home that will suit the needs of your whole household.

 

Negotiate Relocation Benefits        

 

Most companies provide some form of relocation assistance. If your new employer does not offer to pay for your moving costs, don’t hesitate to request it. Some employees even ask for temporary housing for the first weeks of their relocation, along with living costs.

 

Stay Disciplined

 

Finally, you have a lot on your plate as you transition into your new home and job. As you handle your many moving responsibilities, don’t lose sight of your commitment to your new job.

 

Maintain your essential work skills, and be sure to meet any deadlines along the way (for your old and new jobs). Also, stay in regular communication with your new employer to ensure you remain on the same page and have everything you need to get off to a strong start.

 

Conclusion

 

Even if you are relocating because your new job provides you with a higher salary, it is a significant life change that requires you to prepare well beforehand.

 

Keep in mind that you want the process to go smoothly for your entire family, which means that you need to diligently plan and take any necessary steps to transition as painlessly as possible. Keep the tips above in mind as you and your family make a strategy, and try to enjoy the little moments along the way.

 

 

Are you looking for a top-tier real estate agent in the Madison area? Contact Aaron Weber today! (608) 556-4179

 

 

 

 

 

Feb. 10, 2022

Seven Easy Home Updates

 

Simple updates can completely change the look of your home. If your home feels outdated and you don’t want to pay for expensive renovations, there are other options for you! Here are seven easy home updates to help upgrade the look of your home.

Lighting

Certain lighting fixtures, especially in older homes, can make your space feel a little dull. Choosing different lighting options can help drastically change the mood of any mood. Using smart bulbs will allow you to change the brightness and color of your lightbulbs right from your smartphone or voice-activated device.

Curtains

Hanging new curtains will add beauty and texture to any room. If you have low ceilings, place your curtains toward the top of the ceiling as opposed to the top of the window to visually heighten your walls.

Paint

There are many things in your home you can paint other than your walls. Though painting your walls is a great way to drastically change your space, painting smaller things such as your trim, front door, and kitchen cabinets can also make a difference!

Hardware

Want to make an instant upgrade to a dated place? Swap out the hardware! Pick out new doorknobs to replace your current doorknobs and swap out the hardware on your kitchen and bathroom cabinets. It may not seem like much, but new hardware can go a long way towards making a space feel new.

Rugs

Rugs can often be an overlooked décor piece. Placing rugs throughout your home can add texture to a room that may have looked bland before. Make sure when picking out a rug that you choose the right size for the room!

Décor

Speaking of décor, nothing sets the tone of your house quite like the décor you decide to fill it with. Choose a certain style that you like and try to incorporate that style throughout your home. Matching styles in most rooms in your home will look a lot better than having completely different design styles in each room.

Organize

 

Organizing and decluttering is a free and easy way to make your home look better. Clearing up space and getting things in order in your home will help ease your mind too. Start with some common trouble areas, such as sorting the Tupperware cabinet in the kitchen, or go through the “junk drawer” and throw away anything you don’t need.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Design, Home Tips
Feb. 4, 2022

Your Ideal Vacation Home Awaits!

Image courtesy of Unsplash

 

Buying a place to get away from it all is exciting and overwhelming at the same time. And if you bought your current home many years ago, you may need to be reacquainted with the home buying process. To help you along the way, The Aaron Weber Group invites you to check out the following tips.

 

Location, location, location. It’s more than just a catchphrase - location should be your top priority.

     Distance from home. The experts at HGTV advise considering how far away you will be from your destination. Most people who purchase a second home choose a location within driving distance. If you plan to visit frequently, distance can weigh heavily in your decision.

     Desirability to others. If you plan to rent your home to others to offset the mortgage cost, you should consider how desirable the location will be to potential renters.

     Rental rates. Look for a location where rentals are fetching premium prices, at least seasonally. In addition to proximity to water, consider locations near resorts, sports venues, theme parks and other attractions.

It can help tremendously to visit prospective destinations and other rentals to make a good evaluation of your prospects. For example, if beaches are your thing, look into reasonably priced cities like Palm Beach Gardens. Or you may choose a second home that’s closer, perhaps a lakefront property on Lake Michigan or Lake Mendota.

 

Plan ahead. It’s smart to think of your vacation home as an investment. Not only do you have the distinct advantage of a getaway that’s all yours, but when you rent out the space, you’ll be generating income. Just remember that to keep this investment a smart one, it’s in your best interest to work with a property management company if you’ll be unable to manage your vacation home’s maintenance and cleaning. Take stock of popular rental agencies that put both you and guests first with around-the-clock service, strict cleaning schedules and the ability to handle guest emergencies.

 

Future retirement. You may also be considering a property that would be your primary home when you become an empty-nester. According to the AARP, you should consider accessibility and “age-friendliness” - find a home that will promote independent living for aging in place. Here are some qualities experts suggest looking for when making your decision:

 

     Universal design. These are single-floor homes that easily accommodate people of all ages. Included are multi-level kitchen counters, wide doorways, and switches and outlets that are easy to reach.

     Lower-level bedroom. If a single-floor option isn’t working out, look for a home with a bedroom on the ground floor, or a room that could be converted to a bedroom. Open spaces are more desirable than hallways and small rooms. Think in terms of one level being your primary living space; is the laundry going to be easily accessible? And what about the kitchen?

     Bathrooms. Look for larger bathrooms with flooring that isn’t very slippery. Traction mats can be installed for better footing, and taller toilets and grab bars can always be added as well. Curbless showers are also a great idea. The look is elegant and you eliminate a tripping hazard.

     Entryways. Take a look at how you enter and exit the home and consider how accessible the walkways and entries are. Steps can be difficult to navigate even for fairly able bodied seniors, let alone those in wheelchairs. Ramps can be added, rough surfaces smoothed out, and motion-activated lighting can also help with managing difficult walkways.

 

Home sweet (second) home!

 

Your vacation home can become a reality by following these simple tips. Take into account location and make a smart investment, considering a property that will accommodate your golden years. And when you work with the experts at The Aaron Weber Group, you can rest assured that you’ll find the perfect vacation home for you and your family! Reach out today by calling (608) 556-4179.

 

 

 

Jan. 21, 2022

Moving to the US? Here Are 10 Things You Need to Know

Image from Unsplash

 

Moving can be a drag, but the good news is that you’re moving to one of the greatest countries in the world! There is so much to see, do, and explore in the States, and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Before the fun stuff, though, you need to set up a few things.

 

Here, the Aaron Weber Group shares 10 US moving essentials.

 

Before

 

  1. Start job hunting before arrival: Start building your networks well in advance so you have a position ready for when you move in.
  2. Make a timeline: Organize things and plan out the steps ahead of you. For example, six months before the move - find a job, or two months before - figure out your accommodation, and so on.
  3. Make use of resources: Check out the resources offered by US immigration services!
  4. Pack early: Airline baggage restrictions can be pretty severe, so you’ll need to taper down your belongings. Check out this list by MoveHub for some inspiration!

 

 

During

 

Sort out your visa: Keep your US visa, valid passport, and travel documents ready so you’re good to make it through the plane journey.

Find the perfect home: It may be worthwhile to explore home options through a trusted realtor like the Aaron Weber Group, as they will offer you qualified advice on the right neighborhood, price point, and more.

Socialize and take the culture in: It can be easy to get caught up in the practicalities but make an effort to meet locals, learn about the culture and explore the sights around you to make the most of your experience.

 

After

 

Set up an SSN: Once you’re in the US, you will need a Social Security number for tax, employment, and bank account purposes. Getting an appointment can take a while, so don’t leave this one till the end.

Budget: You will likely want to send care packages back home or even money. While transferring money to family back in Nigeria, for example, is easy using financial services like Remitly, you will need to learn to budget, so you have enough to save and tide you over each month.

Use tech to make your life easier: Waze, LinkedIn, MeetUp, Instagram, your banking application… Having the right tech apps really does make the process easier.

 

There you have it - ten things you need to set up before the big move. All the best in your moving adventures, you’ve got this!

 

 

Posted in Home Buying
Nov. 25, 2021

Your Guide to House-Hunting While Navigating the Rest of the Pandemic

 

If you need to buy a home in Madison, you may be wondering how to undertake your search and visit prospective properties during the remainder of the pandemic. The solution, however, is surprisingly simple. Thanks to modern technology and fastidious agents, buying a home can be done almost completely virtually if you're not comfortable with visiting homes in person just yet. Ready to dive in? Consider the following resources from the Aaron Weber Group.

 

Search for Properties

The first step to buying a home is, of course, researching available listings. The following resources have you covered.

 

Connect with an Expert Real Estate Agent from the Aaron Weber Group

Search for Your Next Home on the Best Real Estate Websites

How to Find Foreclosures and Government-Seized Homes Online

Research Neighborhoods by Population, Age Distribution and Schools

 

Open House Alternatives

Even as COVID-19 vaccinations continue to rise in the country, many homebuyers still prefer to attend open house virtually. If you're hesitant about in-person showings, check out the following resources.

 

Here’s How to Safely Tour Real Estate During Coronavirus

3D Home Tours — Why Buyers and Sellers Love Them

 

Close the Deal

From mortgage points to moving tips, the following resources will guide you through other key components of the homebuying process.

 

Decide if Mortgage Points is Right for You by Using a Points Calculator

A Guide to Safe Home Inspections During COVID-19

A Buyer’s Home Inspection Checklist

Buying a House? Sign Your Documents Electronically

Tips on How to Move Safely During the Covid-19 Pandemic and Beyond

 

 

Truly, life goes on, even as the pandemic continues to play out, and so should your search for your forever home. Who knows? You may find that you have one more beautiful thing to look forward to when the pandemic ends — a gorgeous new home just waiting for you.

 

If you need more assistance with buying a home, the Aaron Weber Group is here for you. Call us today at (608) 556-4179.

 

 

Photo via Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

Nov. 17, 2021

Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather

 

The cold Wisconsin weather seems to be here to stay. As a homeowner, that means there are a few things you may need to do to prepare your home for the long winter months. If you’ve already gotten a jump start on this, then you’re ahead of the game! If not, here are some tips to make sure your home is set for winter.

Seal Leaks and Drafts

Gaps between doors or windows can leave space for cold air to creep into your home. This can have quite the impact on your heating bill throughout the winter season. Make sure to check for leaks and drafts and seal them up to keep the cold air out and the warm air in!

Inspect Your Furnace

The last thing you want is for your furnace to go out in the middle of winter. It is recommended to have your furnace inspected by a professional each year. So, before the ice-cold temperatures and snow arrive, make sure you get your furnace inspected! The last thing you want in the winter is for your furnace to go out and be stuck with no heat.

Check Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

This is such an easy thing to do that can potentially be lifesaving for you and your family. Most detectors have buttons to run a test alert to make sure they are working properly. You may want to swap out batteries on any detectors that are running low.

Stock Up on Emergency Supplies

Wisconsin winters can be fierce at times and when winter storms roll in you will want to be prepared. In the case where a winter storm causes a power outage, you may want to have a portable generator on hand until the power is back up. It’s also always a good idea to have a supply of non-perishable food items and water handy.

Make Use of Rugs

Rugs can be used year-round but are especially useful during the winter months! Keep rugs by any entry doors around your house so your family or guests have a place to wipe the snow off their shoes or to set their shoes before entering your home. Rugs are also great to place throughout the rest of your home to have something warm and cozy under feet in non-carpeted spaces.

 

 

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Nov. 9, 2021

Top 10 Home Features Buyers Want

 

If you are starting your home search you are likely compiling a list of home features that matter most to you and your family. This list will help you narrow your home search and will ultimately be the guide that will help you determine which home you buy. As a seller, you may wonder what home buyers are looking for. It may influence future home renovations so when the time to sell your home comes, your home will be more attractive to potential buyers. Here is a list of the top ten home features buyers want according to What Home Buyers Really Want, 2021 Edition.

Top Most Wanted List (Out of 200+ Features)

  1. Laundry room
  2. Exterior lighting
  3. Ceiling fan
  4. ENERGY STAR rated Windows
  5. Patio
  6. Double kitchen sink (side-by-side)
  7. Walk-in pantry
  8. Front porch
  9. ENERGY STAR rated appliances
  10. Hardwood floor (for main level living area)

 

 

Posted in Home Buying
Oct. 15, 2021

Renovate or Move?

 

There comes a time for just about every homeowner when their current home isn’t fitting their wants or needs. Luckily, they have options to fix that! The two obvious options are either renovating your current home or moving altogether, but how do you decide which is best for you?

Reasons to Move

Sometimes moving makes more sense than renovating your home. Here are a few reasons why moving might make more sense for you.

You Need Space

If your family has grown since you bought your home, things can start to feel crowded. Renovating could potentially fix that problem, but more often than not you will need to move to get the added space you and your family needs.

Move-in Ready

Sometimes people want to renovate because their home feels outdated. When you renovate, it takes time to get to the end result. You are going to have to wait weeks or even months until you can live normally in your home. While renovations are going on you may not be able to use a section of your home like your bathroom or kitchen and that can create some challenges. If you don’t think the hassle is worth it or you don’t want to deal with weeks or months of construction, moving might make the most sense for you.

Change Locations

Some people love where they live and can’t imagine living anywhere else. On the other hand, some people want a change of scenery. If there’s a town or neighborhood you’d like to live in, then moving is the choice for you! Changing locations might also be necessary if you’ve landed a new job and are looking to cut down your commute time.

Reasons to Renovate

Moving is a great option for many homeowners, but maybe a home renovation will suit you best! Here are a few reasons why you may want to renovate instead of move.

Bring Your Vision to Life

As mentioned previously, you may want to renovate because your home is feeling outdated. When you renovate, you get to choose how the new look of your home will turn out! You won’t get that luxury when buying a new home. Sure, you can find a home that has a style and layout you like, but renovating your existing home gives you full control of what the end result will look like.

Emotions Are Involved

People often develop an emotional attachment to the home they live in. It’s a place you build memories with loved ones and that can make it hard to move on from a house. By renovating your home, you get the best of both worlds. You get to stay in the home you’ve grown to love and you also get to make improvements so that it fits your current wants and needs.

Which Option is Best for You?

There’s a lot of factors that way into the decision of moving or renovating. Weigh those options and decide what makes the most sense for you and your family.

 

 

 

Oct. 11, 2021

3 Common Home Buying Myths

 

There is so much information out there when it comes to the home buying process. There are also tools that can better help you find a home that you can live in for years to come. Before you start that process of finding your future home, we need to get a few things straight. Here are three common myths when it comes to buying your first home.

You Should Start the Home Buying Process After You Find a Home You Want

Finding a home you love has become easier with the help of apps and websites such as firstweber.com. You can put in your search parameters to narrow down a list of available properties that fit what you’re looking for until you eventually come across a few homes that spark your interest. Once you pick one you might think you’re ready to buy. The only problem is you aren’t even sure the home you picked is in your price range. Before you start the home search, make sure you get pre-approved for a loan so you know how much you can afford!

Your Down Payment is the Only Upfront Cost

Saving up for a home takes time and often people only think about saving up for the down payment for a new home. In reality, there are other costs that you will have to pay for when you buy a house. You will have to pay for inspection fees, potential repairs, closing costs, etc. Make sure you not only save up for those additional costs but also keep an emergency fund in case other unforeseen costs pop up when you buy a home.

Buying a Home Without a Realtor is Easy

Information is readily available to us at any moment. That includes information about the home buying process. The internet is certainly a helpful tool to help you prepare for buying a home, but it won’t do everything you need when it’s time for you to buy. Even though the internet can provide a wealth of information, it won’t provide you with the experience a real estate agent has. From market knowledge to previous experience in negotiations, a real estate agent can make the home buying process significantly easier for you. Here at the Aaron Weber Group, we make sure that all your real estate needs are met. We'll be there from start to finish making sure it's a hassle free real estate experience.