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

How to Sell Your Home Now

How to Sell Your Home Now

Everything has changed in the real estate world, seemingly overnight. The incredibly hot market of the past couple years has taken a hit as the coronavirus has made its way across the country, and the world. But homes are still selling. Not with the same frequency, but people still have to have to sell. 

If you’re one of them, and considering selling your Fort Collins or Loveland home, you’re probably wondering what to do right now—especially since in-person home tours aren’t happening. These tips will help you get your home to stand out and get it sold even when others aren’t moving.

Spring for enhanced virtual tools

It might cost you a little more, but creating a virtual experience for your home is as close as you can get right now to showing buyers what it would be like to walk through the place in person. 

“As we’ve suddenly found ourselves adapting to a new normal, the meaning of home has never meant so much to each and every of us,” Robin Brown of the Brown Home Team at Coldwell Banker Apex Realtors in North Texas, told us. “Our clients rely on us to help them make their move while still finding ways to keep them safe. The use of immersive 3D Virtual Tours and Video Walk Through’s are critical tools to allow home buyers to Shelter AND Home Shop in place.”

Brown’s newest listing in McKinney, TX is a 4,903-square-foot former model home on a corner greenbelt lot, and the residence’s ample proportions, open floorplan, and designer touches come to life on the video tour and 3D walk through.”

Paint a picture

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but sometimes it’s the words that move you. Brown’s McKinney listing also includes a detailed note from the sellers of the home in the listing. This gave the sellers an opportunity to talk at length about the features of the home and the memories they made there, and speak to details that buyers might not know about, even if they did an in-person tour. 

Take great photos

Having great listing photos pre-quarantine was important. Now it’s even more so. If you’re willing to have a photographer in your home at this time, your agent should be able to recommend someone who will not only take great shots, but also practice enhanced safety measures in your home. If you’d rather take your own photos, heed these tips to get the best shots you can.

Choose a great agent

This is a challenging time for real estate, but great agents rise to the top. Those who have been in the business a while have weathered cyclical markets. Even though this current situation is new to all of us, it’s more important than ever to work with an agent who is able to adjust to market conditions and find new ways to market property. 

It’s great that your brother’s girlfriend’s next-door neighbor’s cousin twice removed just got his real estate license right before we started the quarantine, but, frankly, this is no time to go with someone brand new. If you’re selling now, you need to be able to depend on the experience, expertise, and network of your agent. 

Listen to your real estate agent

This is no time to go rogue. Your agent has your best interest at heart, and they want to get your house sold just like you do. You may not love the idea of packing up your basement full of Hulk Hogan memorabilia, decluttering your crowded kitchen, or repainting the blood-red walls of your master bedroom, but if your agent tells you to do so, listen. Every tip your agent bestows is intended to make your home more saleable. Keep that in mind when you’re doubting the effort you have to put in or worrying that the paint color your agent recommended isn’t exactly your taste.

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 Ways to Improve Your Air Quality and Ward off the Coronavirus

The coronavirus and its nasty attack on the lungs is on everyone’s minds. And, as we take increasingly careful measures to keep ourselves safe by staying home, many of us are thinking about ways we can improve the air quality within our walls. While there is no evidence that better indoor air quality can aid in the fight against the coronavirus, we know that poor air quality can exacerbate asthma and allergies and potentially worsen the conditions for people afflicted with the coronavirus. And, “Air pollution can boost levels of inflammation in the lungs, making patients more vulnerable to other infections,” said Cleveland.com.

Here are several things you can do to improve the air quality in your home now.

Change your air filters

Do you change the air filters in your home every 30 days? That’s what many filter companies recommend. If it’s been a while, go ahead and order yourself some filters. And get the good ones. 

“Quality air filters improve your indoor air by eliminating more contaminant particles like pollutants and allergens, as well as keeping dust build-up down; more than standard filters can,” said HVAC.com. “A good quality air filter can also improve the efficiency of your HVAC equipment through contaminant reduction.”

Get an air purifier

“Air purifiers usually consist of a filter, or multiple filters, and a fan that sucks in and circulates air,” said Good Housekeeping. “As air moves through the filter, pollutants and particles are captured and the clean air is pushed back out into the living space.”

There are other reasons to consider air purifiers. “Beyond respiratory concerns, there’s also growing evidence that simple in-room purifiers can clean air enough to boost cognitive development and academic performance,” said Curbed. “A remarkable study was conducted in LA after the Aliso Canyon methane gas leak, where plug-in air purifiers were installed in businesses and schools within a five-mile radius of the gas facility as part of the mitigation process. These were larger, industrial-sized units that run about $700, but just adding them to school classrooms improved test scores, the study authors say—the equivalent of cutting class size by a third. This alone seems like an excellent argument for putting at least one purifier in the same room as your child’s brain.”

Get some plants

Certain kinds of plants can help you purify the air and lower your stress level. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, which was designed to find ways to clean the air in sealed space stations, plants can be effective to absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen into the air, and remove pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene,” said Yahoo. “These chemicals can cause irritation to the skin, ears, eyes, nose, and throat, as well as some cancers, according to the EPA. The study suggests that at least one plant per 100 square feet can effectively clean the air.”

NASA picked several plants for their detoxification qualities, including: The snake plant, which can “release oxygen at night;” peace lily, which “produces fragrant flowers all summer long, and effectively removes ammonia, formaldehyde, trichlorobenzene, and benzene from the air;” bamboo palm, a “fast-growing houseplant” that will “add moisture to the air in the dry winter months and… thrives in indirect sunlight;” and parlor palm, which is “perfect for new plant parents” because it “requires minimal maintenance.”

Get a salt lamp

Not only do they bring a bit of sparkle and nature into your space, but Himalayan salt lamps are also thought to potentially have healing properties. “Combined with a light source inside the lamps, the chunks of salt produce negative ions, which yield positive effects on indoor air,” said The Jerusalem Post. “Placing a Himalayan salt lamp in every room of the home can reap several health and environmental benefits.”

Keep the house clean

“Vacuuming and dusting and cleaning surfaces more regularly to remove dust, particulates and other lung irritants, as well as prevent the spread of coronavirus,” said Cleveland.com.

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