7 Easy Ways to Spruce Up Your Home While Sheltering at Home

Everyone is spending more time at home right now. With so much time on our hands, it’s natural to want to spruce up our homes. While furniture stores and other retailers are closed, the good news is there are home improvement stores and online delivery to help us make the best use of this time and make some easy changes to freshen up our homes. Here are 7 ways to spruce up your home while sheltered in place.

  1. Outdoors – Big box home improvement stores are open and full of spring blooms; this is a great time to add color to your yard
  2. Update Your Kitchen – Kitchen trends have changed. Add some color to your space with modern paint or even a colorful appliance.
  3. Reimagine Your Living Room – With a little time to kill, try moving your living room furniture around for a fresh look. Visit a local big box store for decorative pillows, area rugs, frames, vases, and other décor details.
  4. Change Your Walls – An accent wall is an easy way to liven up your space. Invest a couple of hours to paint one of your walls a fresh color. Build a gallery wall with family or vacation pictures – anything that draws attention to the wall and interest to the room.
  5. Improve the Lighting – Simple things like installing new light bulbs or fixtures can really change the mood of a room.
  6. Plant a Garden – Whether inside or out, there’s no better time to try your hand at an herb or fresh vegetable garden.
  7. Clean and Organize – Take the time to finally tackle that cleaning project.

We’re all spending more time at home; as we appreciate our homes more, we can also take this opportunity to tackle some of the changes we’ve been wanting to make. If you like to know more about sprucing up your home contact us today.The MacDonald Team

Preparing Your Home for a Virtual Tour


Technology is helpful in so many areas of life, even real estate. Twenty years ago, if someone were moving across the country, they’d have to wait to buy a house until they arrived to start their new life, or they’d have to buy a home without seeing it in person beforehand. Both options would cause extra unwanted stress on top of moving to an unfamiliar place. Luckily, with the rise of technology, virtual tours are here to save the day

When it comes to creating a virtual tour, don’t panic. Your real estate agent will be there to guide you through the entire process. An agent may help to schedule a videographer to come to your house or utilize software like Matterport to create a virtual tour of their own that can be added to the listing. Real Estate Agents can also use FaceTime or other apps to
give their customers a tour of a house that doesn’t include a virtual tour of the listing.

There are a few ways to prepare your home before filming a virtual tour. Start by turning on all the lights in your home and opening the blinds or window coverings. You’ll need optimal lighting to get the best footage, so your realtor will most likely schedule filming in the morning or late afternoon. Take time to clean your house before the virtual tour and remove all clutter and any furniture you don’t want to be seen. Your realtor will help you with a simple staging of your home beforehand so it looks presentable in the video. The great thing about staging for a virtual tour is you’ll only have to keep it that way for a couple of hours before you can put everything back where it belongs.

Once the virtual tour of your house has been edited, it’ll be ready to show potential buyers. Your real estate agent will show you the final footage and add it to your listing. Anyone interested in taking a virtual tour can easily watch it online to get a good idea of what to expect in person.

When you’ve decided it’s time to sell your home, a virtual tour can be a great way to get more people to see it and secure a buyer in less time than a traditional open house. Not only does it give potential buyers a first glimpse, but it also ensures that only people who are seriously considering purchasing your home request a tour or show up to the open house

Ready to make your move? Give us a call and let’s chat—we’d love to help you make your real estate dreams a reality!

Have You Outgrown Your Home?

Many homeowners are surprised when they suddenly realize that the “perfect” home of just a few years ago no longer suits their needs. From an expanding family to an empty nest, it’s common for a home to no longer be the right fit. If you’re unsure if you’ve reached the point where a move is warranted, here are a few signs you’ve outgrown your home.

Outgrown Home
Have you outgrown your home?
  • More Kids than Rooms or More Rooms than Kids – Life changes and our homes must change also.
  • Clutter or Lack of Storage – Do you need more closet or storage space? A home with more space could be the answer.
  • Home Office – More and more companies are opting for telecommuting or home office workers, if your kitchen is your office, it might be time to look for a new home with extra room for a home office.
  • Outdoor Entertaining – Home design trends over the last couple of decades have seen a rise in outdoor living and entertaining areas. You might have simply outgrown your yard if you crave space for an outdoor living or dining area.
  • Lifestyle – The square footage might be fine, but you would prefer a different floorplan; more open, single-story, more windows, etc.

Your reasons for moving will be as unique as you are, but these are just a few considerations that indicate you might have outgrown your current home. Make sure your home still meets your needs and wants, then you’ll be able to decide if it’s time to move.

The Stephanie MacDonald Team has access to some amazing programs that make upgrading or downsizing your home easy. From Compass Concierge the hassle-free way to sell your home faster and for a higher price with services like staging, flooring, painting and more. To Compass Bridge Loan Services, a simple solution to bridge the gap between the home you have now and the home you want!

If you have any questions about upgrading your home, or if you’re looking for representation on your next purchase or sale, contact Stephanie MacDonald, ESQ. now.

The Stephanie MacDonald Team

Personalized Service. Proven Results. Serving the Mainline, Center City Philadelphia and South Jersey.

610-246-1048 Stephanie@themacdonaldteam.com

Top 7 Home New Year’s Resolutions

With the start of the New Year, thoughts naturally turn to change. If one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to sell your home, then making the right resolutions can help you sell your home quickly and for the best possible return.

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  1. Move Up Spring Cleaning – Time to do your spring cleaning now. Declutter,
    depersonalize and make the home look roomier.
  2. Stage Your Home – Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, this is the time to rearrange your furniture to make your rooms look bigger and brighter.
  3. Think it Through – Before you spend money on renovations and upgrades, think
    carefully and don’t overspend by guessing.
  4. Take Care of Neglected Repairs – This is a great time to hire a handyman or break out the tool belt to take care of deferred maintenance and take care of minor repairs.
  5. Interview Real Estate Agents – Hiring a real estate agent is critical to your success. Take the time to interview a number of agents and choose the right one for your needs.
  6. Check out the Competition – Go see homes listed for sale in your area and adjust your timing, staging, and pricing based on the market.
  7. Prepare Mentally – Selling a home can be stressful. Be prepared for low offers, picky buyers, drop-by agents, and odd terms. Prepare yourself now so you will take them in stride when you’re on the market.

Choosing the right agent is crucial to stress-free and easy home buying or selling on the Main Line, Center City and Southern New Jersey. The right agent has the resources and expertise to guide you through the process, every step of the way. If you have any questions or you’re ready to get started, please do not hesitate to call or email us. We’d love to hear from you!

The Stephanie MacDonald Team | 610-246-1048 | stephanie@themacdonaldteam.com

Selling your home during the Holidays

The Holiday Season has arrived and many home sellers are concerned it’s the wrong time to list their homes. The truth is that the holidays can be a great time to sell your home. Not only does your home look more beautiful dressed up for the holidays, but buyers are often more emotionally tied to the home because of it. There is no need to wait for the hectic New Year selling season to list. There are benefits to selling now!

  • Lower Inventory – Typically there are fewer homes on the market; fewer homes mean less competition. Inventory is still under the 6-month supply needed for a normal housing market. Waiting until Spring will increase the choices buyers have. Don’t wait until additional inventory comes to market before you decide to sell.
  • Serious Buyers – Buyers during the holidays tend to be more serious than at other times of the year. Moving is not fun at any time of the year, but the holidays are particularly hard, so buyers willing to do this are serious about moving. There are buyers ready, willing and able to purchase and are in the market right now.
  • Interest Rates are Still Low – No one knows what’s coming in the New Year, but for now, Interest Rates are still traditionally low.

The Holiday Selling Season is here. Home sellers can capitalize on the slower pace, smaller inventory and serious buyers by listing now. Deck the halls and offer a warm, cozy home to potential buyers and take advantage of the season for selling your home now.

We would like to help you decide if your home is ready to sell this winter. If you’re ready to sell or would like to learn more reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you.

Going Green: Eco-Friendly Updates to Up Your Home’s Value

Eco-friendly and energy efficient upgrades aren’t just good for the earth—they’re also good for your wallet! While tried-and-true value-boosters like updated kitchens and bathrooms and new flooring still boost your price, energy-efficient additions are in, and people are willing to pay extra for them.

If you’re looking to boost your Main Line home’s value and save some in the long term, here are the best eco-friendly updates to make before selling.

Energy-Efficient Windows

Windows.

While replacing your windows can be a little pricy—ranging from a few thousand dollars to over $20,000 based on the number and quality of windows you choose—your savings will more than pay for it. According to a recent Cost vs. Value report from Remodeling, replacing 10 of your windows with vinyl upgrades can add almost $11,000 to your resale value.

Along with windows, replacing your door can be a much more affordable choice, but it won’t net as high of a return.

Solar Hot Water Heater

Solar hot water heaters are an energy-efficient alternative to a regular hot water heater and can decrease your water heating bills anywhere from 50% to 80%.

Many times when buyers are seriously looking at a home, they’ll ask the owners for recent utility bills. Handing over a bill that’s less than half the cost of what’s expected not only gives you a huge leg up on the competition, but it also makes your home more valuable.

Insulation

Replacing your insulation is one of the more affordable options for upgrades, coming in at just over $1,000. But when you’re reselling? New insulation—in just your attic alone—provides a 116% return on investment.

Other insulation options include your walls and basement, and these options will also up your home’s value and save money on heating and cooling bills.

Solar Panels

A solar panel.

Obviously, solar panels are going to be one of the most expensive eco-friendly upgrades. A decent portion of the profit from solar panels comes after they’ve been installed for a few years, so it might be an update you make early on in home-owning.

If you do opt to install, the average added profit for a medium-sized home with panels is just under $30,000. Plus, homes with solar panels typically sell 20% faster than those without. Of course, if electricity prices rise or are already high where you live, then you can expect that number to be a little bigger.

Smart Technology

A smart thermostat.

Smart tech in the home is one of the most popular current trends. In fact, 70% of millennials—AKA one of the largest home-buying demographics this year—say that they specifically look for homes with smart technology.

When it comes to being eco-friendly and energy-efficient, smart technology offers a few options. Smart thermostats can help regulate your home’s temperature and save your money on bills. Smart lighting can turn on and off based on when you’re at home or in certain rooms. Best of all? These are some of the most affordable upgrades, but will make your home rise above the competition.

Ready to List Your Main Line Home?

Now that you know what it takes to boost your home’s listing price, it’s time to get ready to sell. Explore some of the resources my team has to offer sellers around the Main Line, and give us a call when you’re ready to get started!