View Real Estate Info and Guides

Nov. 10, 2022

How to Create a Picture-Perfect Space

 

If you’ve been on social media for a while, chances are you’ve seen pictures or videos of a recently remodeled room being showcased that looked absolutely picture-perfect. You’ve probably wondered how you could create a space that gives off the same feeling, but maybe it seemed a bit out of reach with the busy schedule that most of us have. Here are some tips and ideas to help you slowly transform any room in your house from a regular room to your very own showcase for social media.

Pick Your Theme

One of the first and most crucial steps to redesigning any space is picking a theme that you want to try and replicate. For most people, this may be the blacks & whites of a Farmhouse theme, or even the woods and neutrals of a Mid Century Modern design. If you can’t decide on which interior design trend you like the most, it may be best to pick a few colors and textures that you like the best and then build from there. Picking an overall theme provides a great guide for you to work off as you’ll know exactly what to look for instead of throwing random design pieces together and hoping they work in your space.

Research Main Pieces & Accents

Once you have an overall theme you can begin to look online for pieces & accents that fit your theme. For example, if you’re going with black & white as an overall theme for your kitchen, you may want to look at shades of white for your kitchen cabinets and black hardware pieces to replace the current ones on your cabinets. Online websites like Amazon and Target are good places to start looking, but for more specific pieces you may be better off looking at your local hardware or home goods store. Remember, not everything has to match in your room so don’t feel like you need to toss anything that doesn’t fit the overall theme!

Work at Your Own Pace

Once you have your overall theme and a couple pieces/accents picked out you’re ready to get to work! The great thing about doing this sort of project in your own home is that you don’t have a set timeline that you have to meet. You can work at your own pace and tackle projects whenever you get the time. In our imaginary kitchen, this could be something as small and as simple as swapping out hardware pieces on the cabinets and drawers after work, or something as big as repainting your cabinets over the weekend. The most important thing to remember is to take your time and avoid any unnecessary stress by working whenever you’re able and want to.

Keep it Clean

 

This is most likely going to be the most difficult and enduring challenge when it comes to keeping your area picture-perfect. It’s very easy for a space to become messy quickly, especially if you have kids and pets constantly coming in and out. One of the best ways to tackle this is to create a cleaning schedule and stick to it. Having a set schedule allows you to get in a rhythm and ensure you stay on top of keeping your space clean. During this time, it’s a good idea to also look around and organize/remove any clutter that might be sitting out. Clutter can stack up very quickly and removing it before it becomes a real problem can go a long way to keeping your area consistently clean.

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
Sept. 30, 2022

Downsizing: What to Do With All Your Stuff?

 

There comes a point in peoples’ lives where they decide that they don’t need the big home they are living in anymore. Of course, there are many different reasons for that. Kids moved away to college, you want to pay less for a home, you’re overwhelmed with the maintenance, etc. Despite the reason, there is one big question people need to answer when they decide they are going to make that move into a small property: What am I going to do with all of my stuff? The bigger the home, the more things we generally want to get to fill it with. However, when you downsize, you likely are going to need to get rid of some things to fit in your new home. Here are some tips on what to do with your stuff when you downsize.

Decide What Matters Most

Just because we own certain items, doesn’t necessarily mean they are important to us. As we said before, it’s human nature to collect things over time especially if we have a larger home because we feel the need to fill it with things. When you downsize you are forced to only keep the important things because let’s face it, not everything you own will comfortably fit in your new home. Take a look at the things you have and decide if they are worth keeping, then follow these next steps.

Keep, Sell, Donate

When you have decided what you are keeping and what you are getting rid of, you will need to separate them into different piles. The things you want to keep, pack them up and label them for your move so you can easily locate them at your new home. For the stuff you no longer want you will need to decide if they are worth selling or if you should donate them. Making money on items you’ve purchased in the past but want to sell now is a nice way to go into your new home with a little extra cash on hand. However, you may not have time to sell everything before you move so you may have to donate a lot of items. Of course, there may be items you can’t sell and may not be able to donate, so you may have to toss some of your things you want to get rid of.

Give Yourself Time

When you get closer, say a month, to your move it may be too late to properly declutter. It will certainly make it hard to sell items you decide to part with. If you know you are planning to start your home search, it may already be a good time to start decluttering, so you aren’t scrambling to get rid of stuff right before your move. Giving yourself a 90-day time before you move to get your items sorted is a good rule of thumb to follow to give yourself plenty of time.

Last Resort

If your home buying process moves quicker than expected and you weren’t able to find the time to sort through all of your things properly, you could rent a storage unit to hold items you aren’t sure what to do with quite yet. There’s certainly nothing wrong with renting a storage unit to hold excess items, but if your goal was to downsize to save money, renting a storage unit could counteract that. Also, when things are out of sight, they are often out of mind so it’s common for storage units to just hold stuff that we may not even miss in the first place.

 

When you downsize, it doesn’t mean you need to get rid of all of the things you love. It’s just a great time to reevaluate the items that matter most to us. It also pushes us to be more minimalistic. You may find that you can live with a lot less than you currently have.

 

Posted in Home Selling, Home Tips
Aug. 5, 2022

5 Easy Ways to Add Curb Appeal to Your Home

 

First impressions matter and your home’s curb appeal is one of the most important impressions you can make on both your neighbors and potential buyers. Here are five tips on how to easily add curb appeal to your home without breaking your budget.

Paint the Front Door

One of the first things people notice about a home is the front door, and if yours has paint chipping off, it can send the wrong message. Consider picking up a can of paint to breathe some new life into that old door. If you want to stand out, you can use a bright color like red or yellow to grab people’s attention right away.

Update Old Hardware

Changing out the old hardware on the front of your home can go a long way to increase the overall look. Take some time to replace the old doorknob and lock on your current door for some more modern-looking ones that match the overall theme of your home. If you like smart devices, you can opt to spend some more money and get a smart lock that can be opened with a code or your smartphone. Smart doorbells are also popular, and they allow you to see who’s at your door even if you’re away from home.

Install Landscape Lighting

One of the simplest ways to add curb appeal to your home is by installing landscape lights. You can choose to put these in your yard’s garden, or you can line them along the walkway leading up to your front door. Depending on what lights you buy, this can be one of the most cost-effective ways to add some curb appeal to your home.

Replace Your Old Mailbox

Mailboxes serve a vital purpose, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep the same outdated one forever! If you have a mailbox that’s attached to the side of your home, consider getting a new one that fits the theme of your home. If your mailbox is out by the curb, you can replace the existing box with one that’s more modern. If the mailbox post is on your property, you can also do some minor landscaping and create a small garden around the base of the mailbox, which will help your house stand out from the crowd.

Refresh The Flower Beds

If you have a flower bed in your front yard that you’ve been neglecting, now might be the time to renew it into something beautiful. Start by removing any existing weeds and trimming down overgrown plants. You can transplant some plants from your local garden store if you want new flowers in there right away, otherwise, you can wait until spring to plant some seeds. Adding mulch to your flower bed is also a great way to transform the whole look of the bed, as well as add some great color too.

Posted in Home Tips
July 22, 2022

How to Make Your Home Energy Efficient

 

If you want to save money on your energy bill, it may be time to consider home improvements to make your home more energy-efficient. From small to big improvements, there are many ways to do this. There will be upfront costs, but they will save you money in the long run! Here are a few tips on how you can lower your energy bill and create a more energy-efficient home.

Check Your Windows

Depending on how old the windows are in your home, they may be making a big impact on your energy bill. You can upgrade your windows that both keep hot air in during the winter months as well as cool air throughout the summer. If you don’t want to replace your windows, check for drafts or leaks and seal them so your thermostat doesn’t have to work so hard.

Choose Energy Efficient Appliances

We don’t expect you to go ahead and replace all of your appliances after reading this, but when it’s time to swap out old appliances with new ones, make sure they are energy efficient. You can check appliances’ Energy Star rating by visiting their website and searching for products.

Improve Your Insulation

Insulation can drastically help reduce your heating and cooling costs. If your insulation hasn’t been updated in over 10 years, it may be time to replace it. According to EPA estimates, homeowners on average can save 15% on cooling and heating costs by effectively air sealing and insulating their homes.

Integrate Smart Home Products

Smart home products give you the best of both worlds. They not only make your home more energy-efficient, but they also provide convenience by automating your home. Your smart home system will adapt to your habits by adjusting your lighting, thermostat, etc. to help reduce your home’s energy output.

Check Your HVAC System

Your HVAC system affects the air quality in your home. They also impact your home’s energy output. As a matter of fact, HVAC systems account for 46 percent of energy consumption on average in U.S. homes. By regularly cleaning, replacing air filters or even replacing an old HVAC system you will save a significant amount on your energy bill.

 

Posted in Home Tips
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