Easy DIY Projects to up Your Curb Appeal

Easy DIY Projects to up Your Curb Appeal

With all this extra time at home, you may have been hard at work making updates to the inside of your Fort Collins or Loveland house to make it more comfortable or to add modern touches. But have you taken a good look at your curb appeal (or lack thereof) lately? This is a great time to address the front of your Fort Collins or Loveland home, and the good news is there are a bunch of updates you can make that are easy, affordable, and can be done without professional help. Here’s where to start.

Bring in seasonal color

Let’s be honest. Some of have a green thumb, and some of us don’t. But adding a little bit of seasonal color is easy and can lift your spirits every time you look outside. 

If you’re not sure you can pull off the steps needed to plant flowers in the actual yard, think potted. A planter placed near the door can add considerably to your curb appeal and only requires a small dollar commitment. 

Pull the weeds

Wow, your lawn! If you’ve been in the house for a month or more, you may not have noticed what’s going on out there. Grab the fam and head outside. Heed these tips to make it easier to get those weeds out. 

Depending on how bad the problem is, you may also want to consider a weed killer. Check out some good recommendations here

Add some mulch

Your yard may look nice and tidy but adding some fresh mulch around your trees and in your flowerbeds can take it up a notch. For about $3.50 a bag and a little elbow grease, you can make your front yard look like new.

Put in landscape lights

The right outdoor lights can enhance everything else you’ve got going on. We love this Hampton Bay eight-light set from Home Depot that offers “the option of three light colors—warm white, soft white, or daylight. On any of the 3 light color settings, it consumes over 80% less energy than a typical halogen light and has a rated life of 50,000 hours. The LED system provides maintenance free operation and there are no bulbs to change.”

Even better, “The quick-install wire connector means easy do-it-yourself installation that is quick and safe.”

Repaint your door

This is an easy task you can complete yourself, and one that will give your home a surprisingly potent refresh. Choose an unconventional color like yellow or teal for a splash of fun—but be sure to check with your HOA first so you don’t get in trouble. 

Repaint your house numbers

“This is more than an aesthetic issue,” said Realtor.com. “If your house is easy to find, help may arrive faster if there’s ever an emergency.”

Give your mailbox a facelift

Your mailbox probably isn’t the type of thing you pay a ton of attention to unless you’re focused on what’s inside of it. Get some inspiration for your mailbox makeover here.

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

The Best Types of Paint for Indoor and Outdoor Stairs

The Best Types of Paint for Indoor and Outdoor Stairs

Freshly painted stairs add a special pop to any area of your Fort Collins or Loveland home or yard. Stairs are an often-overlooked place to let your interior design style shine. 

Refinishing stairs doesn’t have to be a daunting project. Whether you want to give your interior stairs a makeover or just fix the peeling paint on the back deck, there’s a perfect paint for the job.

Read on to learn what types of paint are best for freshening up your interior and exterior stairs. 

The Best Paint for Outdoor Stairs

Outdoor stairs undergo a lot of wear and tear. Not only do they have to stand up to frequent foot traffic, but they’re exposed to all kinds of weather, too. 

For that reason, you’ll need to use a highly durable paint. For wood stairs in particular, your best bet is 100% acrylic exterior paint. There are types of acrylic paint specifically for use on porches, floors, and exterior stairs. 

You’ll want to avoid paints with a very glossy finish. Semi-gloss and high-gloss paints can be slippery, especially when wet.

For the safest results, stick to a satin or eggshell finish. These finishes are glossy enough to resist stains and are easily cleaned, but they’re not so glossy as to be a slipping hazard. For extra safety, you can add a non-slip additive to your paint for extra texture and slip resistance. 

The Best Paint for Indoor Stairs

Although indoor stairs are more protected than outdoor stairs, they still need to withstand a lot of use. For that reason, 100% acrylic paint is also a good choice for indoor stairs. 

As for the best finishes, satin and eggshell are good choices. Indoor stairs can also benefit from semi-gloss paint, as it is easy to clean and won’t be as much of a slipping hazard. 

If you’re planning on painting your indoor stairs in different colors, you might consider different paint finishes, too. For example, you could paint the risers and spindles in a semi-gloss paint and use a lower luster paint for the railings and treads for increased safety.  

Paint Design Ideas for Refinishing Stairs

Once you’ve got the right paint for the job, it’s time to unleash your creativity. There are many interesting ways to paint your stairs to turn them from merely functional to completely fabulous. 

A classic stair painting technique is to paint the risers and spindles in a light color and the treads and railing in a complementary dark color. This approach looks crisp and creates a lot of visual interest. 

Like the look of a classic stair runner but don’t love the risk of tripping? Paint a runner down the center of your staircase for an eye-catching effect. 

Think outside the box in terms of color. You can also use creative methods like stencils and wallpaper. 

Refinishing Stairs for a Fresh, New Look

A fresh coat of paint is a simple way to instantly transform the look of your stairs and brighten the entire area around them. If you’re considering refinishing stairs in your home, it’s important to have all the right paints and tools for the job. That way, you’re sure to make your vision a reality.

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Should I Sell Now

Should I Sell Now

The pandemic has put the world on pause. Should you put your Fort Collins or Loveland real estate plans on pause, too?

This article reaches a sizable online audience, so there’s not just one answer to this question. In direct conversation with you—one-on-one—this question could be answered with specific reference to your location, property, finances, and desired outcomes, but there would still not only be one answer to this question.

Real estate, by its nature and its tremendous location-driven diversity, makes that question open-ended, with many possible answers:

• Each option has many perspectives.
• Each property is unique.
• The reasons homeowners love, or are ready to leave, their real estate are unique, too.

The greatest challenge can be uncovering and understanding the full range of options open to homeowners, not just during these bizarre times, but in any market—before making the decision to sell or not.

The seemingly-simple “sell or not” question can only be answered after tackling a series of other questions. Even without the pandemic, making the decision to sell your home is complex and usually involves significant emotional elements:

• If you had planned to list your property this spring, before you abandon that project, take a fresh look at that decision to sell. Identify your crucial criteria and how they may have changed during the pandemic.
• If you are now asking yourself whether you should sell because of the pandemic, the first step is deciding which are the crucial criteria involved in making a good decision to sell now or not to.

Don’t just let conflicting thoughts rattle around in your head. Jot down ideas to get your brain going. Identify issues and goals. Mind mapping may be helpful here. Keep track of what you discover.

What’s driving you?

1. The Heart: Why do you want to move from this home right now?

Is the motivation based on location, family changes, finances, work, or other issues important to you and your family? Prioritize these criteria. For instance, do record-low interest rates provide an exciting opportunity to buy your “dream home?” Has your work shifted permanently online, so where you live is no longer a work-related issue? Has your family situation changed, so that this home is no longer an ideal fit? How is the pandemic affecting your thinking? Will your decision be valid after the pandemic is resolved?

2. The Head: Why do you consider this the right time to cash in your main financial asset?

Pre-pandemic real estate values made many homeowners feel “house rich.” The pandemic has created stock market volatility and unexpected financial pressures that have devastated savings, investments, business assets, job security, financial prospects, and lives. Will real estate values in your area remain at, or return to, pre-pandemic levels? This financial pressure or its related uncertainty may be a driving force in your decision to sell. Does that make it the right decision?

No one knows the future, but a lot of people talk like they do. Be skeptical.

Real estate professionals are excellent resources and are experts at decision making. Real estate markets are local. Locate knowledgeable local professionals who understand the type of real estate you are interested in. Ask them what all your options are since their broad experience has taught them a degree of creativity that will amaze you.

Stick to the original sell decision?

Once you’ve re-examined your original decision to sell this spring, talk to at least one or two local experienced professionals to add a broader real estate perspective. Ask a lot of questions to understand exactly what has changed or improved in your local real estate market:

• Are current buyers intent on significant price declines which may conflict with your selling goals?
• How much could selling in this market net you?
• Are lenders receptive to mortgage lending in your area? Will deals close?
• In uncertain times, planning to close the deal months down the road can be risky. Would it be possible for you to close relatively quickly? How important is that for you?

Real estate professionals can help you separate fact from fiction.

Cash-in in the current market?

If you hadn’t planned to sell this spring, but now feel you should, what’s behind this dramatic change? With so much rumor, unsubstantiated opinion, and fraud out there, take care you don’t fall prey to flawed thinking or fraudulent scams that can take your property from you. Real estate decisions are not easily reversed.

Local real estate professionals can bring you up-to-date with what’s really going on in your area. They can share analysis of local sales and listings to provide solid information on what you could expect from the sale of your home and how quickly. They can explain the “nuts and bolts” of safely showing and selling in this altered “social-distance” market. They’ll also reveal risks that should be considered, including:

• What benefits to selling now do you want to cash-in on? Perhaps, you are concerned real estate values will drop and you’ll lose out on pre-pandemic values. Or, do you see advantages in what you could buy as your next home because of price depression in other markets?
• If you haven’t had time to renovate or modernize the most dated areas of your home, would low listing inventories cause buyers to overlook these failings just so they can now buy a home in their price range?

Real estate professionals can help you separate fact from fiction.

What’s the next step?

Before you get too involved in selling, take time to evaluate what your choices will be once your home is sold and you must move:

• Are you intent on taking cash out of the sale to invest or save? Is this the right time to take advantage of these financial strategies? Be cautious of a financial advisor who encourages the sale or mortgaging of your home to “make a killing” from stock market volatility. Be skeptical. If you lose everything, that advisor would still have made commission on the trades. What will you be left with?
• If you intend to rent once you sell, investigate your preferred rental market to be sure you can find what you want at the price you can afford. The pandemic has had devastating impact on many communities with no end in sight.
• Investigate the market you intend to buy into. What if inventories are so low that your choices are limited? This scarcity may inflate prices. On the other hand, low interest rates should enhance your purchasing power. Less competition from other buyers may give you a chance at property that might otherwise have been out of reach.

Should you sell now? Your decision should be based on research and thoughtful consideration, not fear. Relax into the decision. You’ll only be 100% sure in hindsight. Choose the answer that you can live with and thrive on.

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Outdoor Projects for a Beautiful and Fun Homecation Space

Outdoor Projects for a Beautiful and Fun Homecation Space

As the weather warms up, more families are starting to look forward to getting outside of the home to have some fun or just relax in the sun. And while a vacation may seem like the ultimate goal, most people find that by creating a better outdoor living area, they can have even more fun “homecationing” in their own yards. 

There are numerous projects that you can do to add some fun and recreation to your Fort Collins or Loveland home’s yard. The following 5 projects can help you maximize your space, improve your property, and increase your enjoyment of your space with the good weather.

Patio: Affordable and Versatile

When you think about your outdoor living area, your patio should be home base. Patios are one of the most versatile things to add to your yard in terms of enjoyment and use, as well as style and appearance. 

Your patio can be covered or open, have a fire pit or fireplace for gathering around in the evenings, host a grill and table, or be the base for a pool deck. You can even add bigger projects to the patio itself, like a hot tub, pergola, or outdoor kitchen. Basically, adding a patio adds a blank slate to your yard that can give you endless ways to customize it to your needs. Start with leveling and adding some pavers, then add furniture, lights, and a gathering place such as a fire pit or picnic table to start using the area right away. 

Project cost: Most homeowners spend around $4,000 for a living room-sized patio of 12 x 18 feet made of stamped pavers.

Pool: Perfect for Kids and Hot Climates

If you’re planning on staying home all summer, a swimming pool may be a good investment. Pools can be tricky, as a large, inground pool needs a lot of space while an above ground pool doesn’t add a lot to your home’s value. 

However, any pool can add a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day, and can give you a way to relax and have some fun. Pools come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can add an inflatable pool that’s big enough to cool off in just for the summer or you can go further and add a small inground pool like a plunge pool or an endless pool that will give you the chance to cool off without taking up your whole yard. 

Project cost: The cost of building a pool varies greatly depending on the type of pool you choose. Above-ground inflatable pools start at $200, while you would pay around $20,000 for a plunge pool and $29,000 for an endless pool.  

Court: for Sports Lovers

If you’re a sports-minded family and you want to use your yard to play regularly, consider adding a sports court to your yard. Many basketball court materials can be used to create a more generic sports court – you can install hoops for a true basketball court, or put up a volleyball net or other game materials to get more use out of the space. 

Sports courts don’t require landscaping or a lot of maintenance, which can be attractive for homeowners that want to use their space, but don’t want to spend a lot of time watering, fertilizing, and caring for it in the long term. 

Project cost: Installing a full-sized basketball court costs around $30,000. For a more affordable option, you can have a half-court over concrete for $15,000.

Deck: for Enjoyment and Increased Home Value

Decks are a great addition to any home. Decks give you a place to relax, gather, entertain, cook, eat, and more. Decks are also incredibly versatile – they can be a low wooden platform on a one-story home or an elevated backyard oasis on a larger property. Wood decks also have a fairly good ROI, so you’re not only increasing your enjoyment in your property, you’re also increasing its value at the same time. 

Think about what things you would do on the deck before building to get the most out of the project. A deck built for entertaining might include a gas fire pit, built in benches, and a bar, while a deck made for the family might include a table, shade, and some built in swings underneath. 

Project cost: Homeowners usually spend $17,200 to $19,000 for a 16′ x 20′ composite deck.

Front Porch: for Trendy Curb Appeal 

One of the biggest trends of the last few years has been the farmhouse. The modern farmhouse has commanded great prices at time of resale and has everyone clamoring for one. One of the things that every farmhouse needs and that helps make the style is the extra wide front porch. The front porch not only helps create the look of a farmhouse, it’s also practical and highly sought after for its use. The porch enhances your entry to the home, gives you a place to relax and unwind on beautiful spring mornings and long summer evenings, and is often big enough to fit the whole family along with furniture and a porch swing. Adding a front porch will add utility and enjoyment to any home, farmhouse or not. 

Project cost: Homeowners spend around $21,440 to build a porch.

Enhance Your Home and Your Enjoyment this Season

These outdoor projects will not only increase your property’s appearance and value, they’ll also increase your enjoyment in being at home. Whatever your family’s idea of a good time is, it’s possible to add things to your home that can help you achieve your goals. Consider tackling one of these 5 projects and get more from your homecation. 

Message me if your thinking about selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com

Value-Boosting Exterior Updates to Make to Your Fort Collins or Loveland Home Now

Value-Boosting Exterior Updates to Make to Your Home Now

If you’re thinking of selling your home sometime in the near future, you may be wary of having work done to the interior right now, as we all shelter in place. But you can still safely make exterior updates to get your home prepared your to go on the market, and help support tradespeople, landscapers, and handymen at the same time. 

Keep in mind that you might need to purchase the supplies for whatever work you’re doing, and delivery times may be longer than you want. If you don’t want to step into a big-box store, you’ll be happy to know that Lowe’s and Home Depot are both now offering curbside pickup.  

Here are some top tips to get the outside of your Fort Collins or Loveland home in great shape.

Paint the house

A fresh coat of paint can make a home look brand new, and also give potential buyers a great first impression. If you’re planning to list sometime soon, think about the fact that your curb appeal is more important now than ever. In this time of quarantine, buyers definitely aren’t going to bother moving forward with a tour of the inside if the outside isn’t exceptional.

If your whole house doesn’t need painting, redoing or updating the trim can give it an updated look and a well-taken-care-of feel.

Clean it up

“A bucket of soapy water and a long-handled, soft-bristled brush can remove the dust and dirt that have splashed onto your wood, vinyl, metal, stucco, brick, and fiber cement siding,” said houselogic. “If you can’t spray off the dirt, scrub it off with a solution of 1/2 cup trisodium phosphate—TSP, available at grocery stores, hardware stores, and home improvement centers—dissolved in 1 gallon of water.” 

Power wash the exterior

If even the TSP can’t wipe away the years of grime, get your hands on a power washer. 

“According to the National Association of Realtors, you can expect to add $10,000 to $15,000 to the sales price after pressure washing exterior siding,” said Painters in Philly. “This is a significant number when you consider the average cost to pressure wash a house runs between $100 and $300.” 

Redo your front door

Maybe it just needs a good scrubbing, or maybe a new color would give the front of your home the pop it needs to stand out. If you do need a whole new door, you’ll appreciate knowing that front door replacement consistently has one of the highest returns on investment (ROI). 

Check your eaves and downspouts

Cobwebs, wasps nests, and grime may have collected here.   

Stain your fence

This is something you can do yourself if you’re looking to pass the time, but do yourself a favor and rent or buy a sprayer for a professional look that will save you hours—and save your muscles from days of pain. According to HomeAdvisor, “The price of having a professional paint or stain your fence averages $2,000. Homeowners could pay anywhere between $750 to $4,250 depending on the condition, height and length of the fence. Costs average $3 to $17 per linear foot or $1 to $2.50 per square foot. The cost of paint or stain, before labor, is $240 to $600.”

Wash your windows

Having a professional come out to wash your windows is the best way to get them sparkling clean, but this is also a job you (or your teenagers!) can tackle. Here are a few tips for getting them looking great: use dishwashing liquid and buy a squeegee. Learn more here

Attend to the landscaping

“A well-manicured lawn, fresh mulch, and pruned shrubs boost the curb appeal of any home,” said houselogic. “Replace overgrown bushes with leafy plants and colorful annuals. Surround bushes and trees with dark or reddish-brown bark mulch, which gives a rich feel to the yard. Put a crisp edge on garden beds, pull weeds and invasive vines, and plant a few geraniums in pots. Green up your grass with lawn food and water. Cover bare spots with seeds and sod, get rid of crab grass, and mow regularly. If you’re selling anytime soon, any work you do now will reap benefits in your home’s selling price, usually 100% or more according to the ‘Remodeling Impact Report’ from the National Association of REALTORS®.”

Have your roof checked

As you get closer to listing your home for sale, you’ll want to make sure your roof is in good shape. Getting it checked now during this slow time means you won’t have to wait in line should there be a rush later on. 

Get permission!

If you live in a neighborhood that has an HOA, be sure to take the proper steps to get any approvals needed for the work you’re doing. The last thing you need right now are fines or work stoppages because you didn’t go through the proper channels.

Message me if your thinking about selling a Fort Collins or Loveland home at m.me/EdPowersRealEstate

Ed Powers Real Estate 970-690-3113 ed@EdPowersRealEstate.com www.EdPowersRealEstate.com