Thursday Three: 3 Ways To Create An Office In Space You Already Have

If you’re in need of a work space but don’t have a whole room to spare for an office, check out these options:

1. The Kitchen Office
Tuck a small desk into the kitchen and slide a chair or stool underneath for an instant office. Add a drawer underneath and cabinet above for storage.


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If you’re in need of a work space but don’t have a whole room to spare for an office, check out these options:

1.  The Kitchen Office
Tuck a small desk into the kitchen and slide a chair or stool underneath for an instant office.  Add a drawer underneath and cabinet above for storage.

2.  The Family Room Office
Choose a larger room in your home and create a cozy office by cornering off a space.  Define the space with a beautiful desk.  A large bookcase on one wall and shelving on another will create plenty of storage.  Add some lighting and you’re good to go.  Just make sure the space you choose has plenty of outlets for any electronics you need.

3.  The Simple Solution
Choose a gorgeous, classic secretary desk and tuck it away in corner and you will have an instant work space.  Most secretary desks offer pull-out or pull-down desks that offer plenty of workspace.  With so many styles of furniture on the market, you are sure to find a secretary that will fit your needs.  Choose a style with shelves or drawers for plenty of storage.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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5 Ways To Maximize A Small Bathroom

If your home has a small bathroom, but you are constantly dreaming of renovating and making something a bit more spacious, then this is the post for you! Here are a few easy tricks to make a small bathroom seem larger!


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If your home has a small bathroom, but you are constantly dreaming of renovating and making something a bit more spacious, then this is the post for you!  Here are a few easy tricks to make a small bathroom seem larger!

Replace the cabinets under your sink with a vanity.  Although it won’t give you as much hidden storage, utilizing baskets or open shelving under the vanity sink will provide storage while making the room feel more open.  A pedestal sink is also a great option for opening up floor space and giving the illusion of square footage!

Create a focal point.  Change out the existing lighting for a beautiful chandelier.  Switch some of the tiles out for colorful tiles or mosaics.  You could even pull several tiles from the same area to create a mosaic mural or redo a whole wall in beautiful glass tiles.  Replace your existing “boring” sinks with an eye catching bowl and faucet.  There are many ways to create a focal point in the bathroom, and no matter which one you choose, drawing attention to a gorgeous feature will definitely draw attention away from the fact that you are in a cramped space.  Just be cautious not to overdo it… you just want one focal point.  Too many will just make the space feel busy and even more cramped, and that is not the feeling you’re going for!

Creative storage.  Adding a tall, skinny cabinet behind the toilet or a pedestal sink can add storage to your space without adding bulk.  Alternatively, cutting some recessed shelving in between wall studs can make the most of unused space and won’t take up even an inch of floor space!

Create an illusion.  By trading your shower curtain for clear glass doors, you will create an illusion of space.  Hanging a larger mirror is also a great way to give the illusion of space, just be sure to hang it so that it reflects one of your bath’s assets, or if you want to be really daring, hang two mirrors across from each other!  Alternatively, using light colors throughout the whole room and allowing as much natural light into the space as possible will also give the illusion of space.

Replace your door.  Trading out a standard door for a sliding pocket door opens enough floor space to make it worth the switch!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434!

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Thursday Three: 3 Creative Bathroom Storage Solutions

A true space saver: Hang a decorative hook next to the sink, fill a beautiful bucket with your toiletries and then hang the bucket from the hook. Voila! Instant storage, and since you can get creative with the finishes of both the hook and the bucket there are a million different options for how this can look!


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A true space saver:  Hang a decorative hook next to the sink, fill a beautiful bucket with your toiletries and then hang the bucket from the hook.  Voila!  Instant storage, and since you can get creative with the finishes of both the hook and the bucket there are a million different options for how this can look!

Pretend you’re in a hotel:  Install a towel rack above the tub, over the toilet, or next to the sink – wherever you need to keep towels handy.  Be sure the rack includes both shelves and hooks for maximum storage.

Hang shelves:  Most people severely underutilize the wall space in their bathrooms.  Make the most of yours by hanging shelves to open up many more storage options!  Narrow shelves along a wall or the perimeter will add architectural interest as well as offer storage.  Hanging shelves on a narrow or oddly shaped wall can offer an instant “closet” without any of the remodeling effort or cost!  A small shelf directly above the sink will add the perfect place to stow away often used toiletries.  There are many other ways to utilize shelving in your bathroom as well, so be creative!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Splurges For Your Bathroom

Yesterday I suggested some ideas for remodeling your bathroom on a budget. Today I’m focusing on the best splurges to make if you’re planning a bathroom upgrade and have some money to spend!


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Yesterday I suggested some ideas for remodeling your bathroom on a budget.  Today I’m focusing on the best splurges to make if you’re planning a bathroom upgrade and have some money to spend!

Heated flooring – add this luxurious benefit to any bath and your feet will thank you!

Water resistant entertainment – a sound system or television specially designed for bathroom installation might interest you if you want to enjoy your time in the bathroom a little more!

Go for luxury – adding a fireplace gives the feel of a luxury suite every day. Mmmm!!!

A double vanity – many people consider this a “must have,” but if you don’t, a spacious double vanity should definitely be added to your list.

A fancy shower – many “dream” bathrooms contain beautiful tubs that their owners rarely use.  If you’re more of a shower person, invest in your shower instead.  Adding dual showerheads, a body spray, and/or a bench can take your shower to a whole new level of luxury!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Update Your Bathroom On A Budget

It’s bathroom week here on the Cooper Realty blog! Everyone spends time in the bathroom every day, so shouldn’t it be a room that you enjoy? If you’ve been dreaming of updating your bathroom, but you don’t have a huge budget, consider these tips.


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It’s bathroom week here on the Cooper Realty blog!  Everyone spends time in the bathroom every day, so shouldn’t it be a room that you enjoy?  If you’ve been dreaming of updating your bathroom, but you don’t have a huge budget, consider these tips.

Go white to save green!  Sticking to traditional white features such as sinks, tubs, and toilets will save you a ton of money because they are more readily available than their colorful counterparts.

Change out your hardware.  If you don’t have the budget to replace cabinets, give them a low-cost face lift with new hardware.  For a more dramatic impact you can paint or otherwise refinish cabinetry and then replace the hardware!

Organize your cabinets.  Adding pullout shelves to cabinets will maximize your storage space and ease the frustration you feel when you can’t find what you’re looking for!

Go for style.  Keep most of what already exists, but change out a few key pieces to add style and drama to your space.  For example, replace your faucets and/or showerhead with a lovely new piece or switch out existing lighting for a dramatic chandelier.

Change the color.  Painting is a fairly inexpensive weekend project.  Follow-up by replacing hand towels and adding colorful accents such as vases, candles, and soaps.

Save on tile.  If you love a specific tile that is far too expensive for you to afford, consider using a more affordable alternative (or keeping your existing tile!) and using the tile you love for a border or randomly placing a few here and there to create an interesting pattern.

Pinpoint your complaint.  Sometimes changing just one aspect of a room will make you feel like you’re in a whole new space, so determine what it is that really bothers you about your space.  For example, if your sink is in good condition, but the vanity bothers you, would replacing just the counter do the trick?  Could you keep all of your features and just replace the floor?  Keep the tub but replace the shower head and faucet?  Specifically identifying problems and addressing them individually will save you a ton of cash!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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5 Remodel Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Livability

If you google home remodeling, it’s easy to come across lists of which improvements give you the most bang for your buck and which improvements will be difficult to recoup in selling costs should you ever decide to move. However, if you know you’re going to be in your home for the long haul, should renovating be about what works best for your family and not what is going to get you the most money if and when you ever decide to sell?


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If you google home remodeling, it’s easy to come across lists of which improvements give you the most bang for your buck and which improvements will be difficult to recoup in selling costs should you ever decide to move.  However, if you know you’re going to be in your home for the long haul, should renovating be about what works best for your family and not what is going to get you the most money if and when you ever decide to sell?

If your object in remodeling is to enjoy living in your home even more than you do now, then consider a few of these improvements instead of some of the more traditionally encouraged renos:

1.  Rethink bathrooms
There are a few ways you can get creative if you’re looking to change up your bathrooms.  First, consider sharing the master bath.  Meaning, position the floor plan so that the tub and sink are accessible to the rest of the house.  This can prevent you from needing a separate half bath.  Think about it!  How often do you use the toilet/sink portion of your master bath during the day?  You could always have a second sink in the “master” portion of the master bath as well.  That’ll still save you money!

Another idea is to do a similar thing with a second bathroom.  Tuck the toilet and shower away, and have a nice double sink in a separate attached area.  This will allow three people to get ready at once without needing three separate bathrooms!

2.  Consider a walk-in pantry or two
Cabinets can be very expensive and depending on how tall you are and how they are positioned, can also be a pain to utilize efficiently.  Consider using kitchen wall space for windows and building a couple of walk-in pantries instead.  They save space, store a lot more stuff in a more convenient configuration, and they cost less to build than cabinets do to install.

3.  Shower vs. Bath
The idea of a big bathtub is nice, but unless you use it often, it’s probably not worth the space it’s in.  Consider installing a large shower instead.  You will use it more often, guaranteed!  Plus, it takes up less space and saves you money since it uses less hot water.

4.  Skip the vaulted ceilings
Unless you are absolutely convinced that the drama of a vaulted ceiling will make your life better, consider skipping it.  It might add square footage, but it isn’t square footage you can actually use.  Rooms with high ceilings are harder to clean and decorate and cost way more money to heat and cool as compared to rooms with average ceilings.  If you really want high ceilings, go for the 10 foot ceiling and cap it there.  There are plenty of tricks for adding the illusion to height of a room if you feel too claustrophobic.

5.  Go for the view
If you have a great view somewhere, capitalize on it!  Instead of placing a couple of windows in each room, choose a room that faces the view and put (almost) all of your windows there!  Trust me, you won’t regret it.  One of the most beautiful homes I’ve ever been in was in Alaska.  It was not that fancy or that large, but two walls of windows in the living room looked out over one of the most amazing views I’ve ever seen (see above pic)!  I just wanted to sit in that living room all day long and stare!  I still drool when I think about that otherwise plain house.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Thursday Three: 3 Ways to Save Money on a Contractor

Thinking of remodeling? Here are a few ways to save money on a contractor:


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Thinking of remodeling?  Here are a few ways to save money on a contractor:

1.  Get Several Quotes
Let the contractors you are interviewing know that they have competition.  Haggling isn’t really the best option, since contractors might give you the price you want to hear and then cut corners to make it happen.  But if contractors know you are considering others they are more likely to give you their best price.

2.  Throw Out a Lowball Offer
Before the contractor bids, name a ball park budget that is around 20-25% less than you are really expecting to spend.  He might laugh in your face, but he’ll be thinking about your “budget” when he puts together your quote.

3.  Work With Your Contractor
After you decide on a contractor, work with him.  Ask him to suggest ways you could modify the project plans to save money, and be willing to make some changes.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty and let us help you — 302-856-6434.

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Projects You Should Do Right Now

There is a small window of time when the weather is beautiful and it’s not unbearably hot, and we are currently in it! So, it’s the perfect time to get some of those outdoor projects done. Here’s a quick rundown of a few projects you should do now!


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There is a small window of time when the weather is beautiful and it’s not unbearably hot, and we are currently in it!  So, it’s the perfect time to get some of those outdoor projects done.  Here’s a quick rundown of a few projects you should do now!

Prep Your Mower – If you do your own yard work, chances are you’ve already been out mowing this year, but if you haven’t already, you should sharpen those blades before you cut any more grass!  Also check to make sure your other lawn & garden tools are in good operating condition.
Gutters and Downspouts – Check them out carefully to be sure none have gotten loose over the past year and clean out leaves and other debris.  Also check for sags and water stains that may indicate a problem.
Fans & Air Conditioners — Dust them, wash them, remove any debris or building, and clean or replace the filters.  If you don’t have central air and need to install window units, now’s the time.  Make sure to seal the area around them well!  While you’re at it, change the filter to your furnace, especially if you use the fan year round.
Roof Inspection – If your roof is older or you think there might be an issue now’s the time to get up there (or hire someone to do it for you!) and check it out.  Be on the look-out for missing shingles or shingles that may be loose.  Pay careful attention to the areas around chimneys, pipes, vents, skylights, and other such areas.  While you’re up there take a good look around and become aware of anything that might be a potential problem if there’s a nasty storm (such as nearby tree limbs, etc.)
Foundation Vents– Check your vent blocks and remove or open the covers to let some air circulate.  Clean them out if dirt has built up around them over the winter, and check to make sure the soil hasn’t shifted in a way that is allowing groundwater to drain into your basement or crawl space.
Outdoor Faucets – If they’ve been covered, uncover them and turn on the water supply if you shut it off over the winter.

Looking to buy or sell a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and let us work for you — 302-629-6693!

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Simplify Your Life: Create a Weekly Cleaning Schedule

Creating a weekly routine that works for you is the best way to keep your house clean. Here’s a list of chores that should be done once a week to keep your house in the best possible shape. Assign one room to each day of the week, and viola! you’ve got a weekly cleaning schedule that will help you keep your whole house spic and span in less than an hour each day!


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Creating a weekly routine that works for you is the best way to keep your house clean.  Here’s a list of chores that should be done once a week to keep your house in the best possible shape.  Assign one room to each day of the week, and viola! you’ve got a weekly cleaning schedule that will help you keep your whole house spic and span in less than an hour each day!

Each Day
-wash and put away dishes
-wipe down kitchen and bathroom counters
-wipe out kitchen and bathroom sinks

Kitchen
-mop the floor
-wipe down cabinet doors and the exterior of the appliances

Bathroom
-polish fixtures
-scour the tub
-disinfect the toilet and wipe down the base
-mop the floor

Living Spaces
-dust shelves, furniture, and trinkets – don’t forget the things hanging on the wall!
-vacuum carpets and mop hard-surface floors

Bedrooms
-same as living spaces, plus
-wash bed linens

And don’t forget to sweep and de-clutter your front entry area/foyer each week too!  If you don’t like the idea of spending one day per room you can always change it up and do the kitchen one day, bathroom one day, and then spend one day dusting all rooms, one day vacuuming, and one day mopping all hard-surface floors!  Adjust as needed and do what works best for you!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Garage Organization Tips

Tired of barely having enough room in your garage for your car? Check out some of these tips for organizing. With a little organization, you might find yourself hanging out in your garage, “just for fun!”


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Tired of barely having enough room in your garage for your car?  Check out some of these tips for organizing.  With a little organization, you might find yourself hanging out in your garage, “just for fun!”

Two Words:  Adjustable Shelving
Hang several layers of shelving around the perimeter of your garage and stow away off season equipment, boots, buckets, etc.  By getting as possible off the ground and onto shelves, you eliminate clutter and gain a more organized space.

Peg Boards
Hang a few pegboards and use a variety of hooks instead of just one type and you’ll open up all kinds of storage opportunities!  Pegboards are great for hanging most tools and a whole lot more.

Garbage Cans
If you store large quantities of dog food, salt, sand, birdseed or other items that come in heavy bags, dump them in a garbage can (or put the whole bag inside), put the lid on, and label it.  Your storage will look much neater than if you have open, half-used bags lying around.  Throw a scoop inside and everything you need will be at your fingertips when you need it!

Canisters
Small kitchen-type canisters are useful for storing nuts, bolts, screws, nails, and more.  You can even get magnetic canisters and secure a magnetic strip to the wall for out of the way storage.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Let us help!  Give Cooper Realty Associates a call today – 302-629-6693.

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5 Perfect Plants For Your Garden

It’s almost May… if you haven’t already started thinking about your garden, now’s the time to get started. Here are five plants that grow well in Sussex County… with the proper care of course!


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It’s almost May… if you haven’t already started thinking about your garden, now’s the time to get started.  Here are five plants that grow well in Sussex County… with the proper care of course!

Astilbe
This dense, colorful plant blooms in shades of pink, red, white, and lavender.  This plant grows best in shaded areas and needs plenty of water. (pictured above)

Bee Balm
If you love wildflowers, this is the plant for you.  Flowering in red, pink, violet, and white varieties this plant grows best in moist, sunny areas.  This beautiful plant also attracts butterflies and hummingbirds while deterring most pests with its minty scent.

Lily-of-the-Valley
This ground cover plant is well recognizable with its bell-shaped flowers that small oh-so-sweet.  This plant grows well in moist, shaded areas.  Although it doesn’t flower all season, the deep green leaves are lovely all season long.

Soapwort
This beautiful plant features clusters of small pink, purple, or white flowers and is super easy to grow as long as you plant it in full sun and don’t overwater.  This plant can grow up to two feet tall and wide and blooms all summer and fall.

Trillium
This gorgeous plant blooms in shades of white, yellow, and maroon.  Trillium’s distinguishing three-petal bloom grows best in moist, shaded areas.  Just be sure to grow it along with other flowering plants, because Trillium goes dormant in midsummer.

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-856-6434!

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Thursday Three: 3 Ways To Use A Closet As Living Space

I realize that nobody really has “extra storage” in their house, but if you’re able to reorganize in such a way that you can free up some closet space, there are lots of great ways that you can turn it into viable living space. Here are three of my favorites…


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I realize that nobody really has “extra storage” in their house, but if you’re able to reorganize in such a way that you can free up some closet space, there are lots of great ways that you can turn it into viable living space.  Here are three of my favorites:

In the Kitchen: Baking Zone
A moveable island or butcher block counter on wheels can slide in and out of the closet to add both storage and workspace.  High shelves allow storage for baking pans, tins, cookie cutters, etc.  Vertical slats offer convenient space for storing cookie sheets, cooling racks, and more.  Hang hooks on the back of the door for measuring cups and spoons, potholders, towels, and other miscellaneous odds and ends.

In the Bathroom: First Aid Center
By storing items that are only used occasionally (humidifiers, heating pads, etc.) on high shelves, that leaves the rest of the space available to store items in bins separated by family member or item type.  Another great way to store first aid products is on shelf that turns so that it’s easier to see everything at once – don’t forget to regularly purge expired products!

Any Room:  Home Office
By painting the interior of the closet a colorful shade and hanging a light fixture, a closet can be turned into a lovely and functional office with just the addition of a work surface.  Adding table legs, wall brackets, and a solid surface to a prefinished shelf creates a perfect desk and by adding some bookshelves, filing cabinets, bulletin boards, and other office accessories you’ve got yourself a nice home office that can easily be closed off when you’re not using it.

There are lots of things you can do with a closet, an afternoon, and a bit of creativity!  Which one is your favorite?

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Green Your Home Without Spending Too Much Green

Green home improvements continue to be a trendy topic when talking about real estate. Since yesterday was Earth Day I thought I’d highlight a few easy ways you can go green on the cheap….


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Green home improvements continue to be a trendy topic when talking about real estate.  Since yesterday was Earth Day I thought I’d highlight a few easy ways you can go green on the cheap.

Cleaning Products
With a little white vinegar, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, liquid soap, tea tree oil, glycerin, and empty bottles you can make your own green, non-toxic cleaning products.  These products are better for your home, the environment, and your wallet!

Insulation
Improving the insulation in your home means less drafts, which in turn means less money spent to heat or cool your home.  There are simple, inexpensive ways to add insulation to your home too, such as plugging your outlets with outlet protectors, using rope caulk around the perimeter of windows, and using foam insulating pads to plug air leaks elsewhere.

Dust Your Light Bulbs
Clean bulbs emit more light than dirty ones, plus dirty bulbs burn up faster and need to be replaced more often.

Be Aware Of Your Energy Output
If you are going to do laundry, make sure you’ve got a full load.  If you are planning to turn on the oven, do your baking for whole week at the same time.  Don’t run the dishwasher half empty.  Use your appliances wisely, and if it doesn’t need to stay plugged in (like a fridge or freezer), unplug it when it’s not in use.  To make it easier, plug electronics like a tv, dvd player, gaming system, etc. into one power strip and turn the power strip on and off as needed.

Of course, if you really want to go green you can always upgrade to eco-friendly appliances or add solar panels to your home, but these are not exactly easy on the wallet!

Thinking of buying or selling a home in Sussex County?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

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Tips for Spring Cleaning

For some people, spring cleaning is not a big deal because they keep their home meticulously clean all year round, but for others (like me!) spring is the perfect time to do a little deep cleaning to make your home sparkle! If you’re like me, here are some tips to help you take this huge undertaking and break it down into manageable pieces. Trust me, at the end, when your home is shining, it is totally worth it!


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Spring is well under way, and though we’ve had several weeks of awesome weather already, we can expect it to start warming up more permanently in the coming days. If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to get a little spring cleaning done! For some people, spring cleaning is not a big deal because they keep their home meticulously clean all year round, but for others (like me!) spring is the perfect time to do a little deep cleaning to make your home sparkle! If you’re like me, here are some tips to help you take this huge undertaking and break it down into manageable pieces. Trust me, at the end, when your home is shining, it is totally worth it!

Step 1: Room by Room
For each room in your house, pick up clutter. Throw away any trash and irreparable objects and separate anything that you want to sell or donate. Make sure everything you own has a “home” and keep them there! Dust and vacuum each room, pulling out and moving furniture to clean around it. Here are some room by room tips:

  • Bedrooms – clean blankets and comforters according to care instructions, wash mattress pads and bed skirts, rotate and/or flip mattresses, and freshen pillows using the air (no heat) setting of the dryer
  • Bathrooms – clear your medicine cabinet and discard outdated products, throw away any old bath products that can no longer be used, replace shower curtain liners, and wash or replace shower curtains and bath mats
  • Kitchen – Clean out your cabinets and drawers – wipe them out with a damp cloth and organize contents, clean out your pantry and discard stale spices or expired items, clean the inside and outside of your refrigerator and freezer, and pull out appliances as far as you can and vacuum around them

Step 2: Wash Windows
Using a traditional or homemade window washing solution, clean windows both inside and out. Black and white print newspaper is best for cleaning windows because it doesn’t leave any residue behind, but don’t use any colored newsprint or your windows will look like bad stained glass! It is also best to clean windows on a cloudy day because washing windows when its sunny can cause streaks.

Step 3: Clean Window Treatments
There’s no sense in having clean windows with dirty window treatments! If your curtains or drapes are really dirty you can put them through the washing machine or have them dry cleaned (read your care instructions!), but most of the time your curtains can probably be cleaned by using the proper attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

Step 4: Check for Safety
Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and test them to make sure they’re working. If you own a fire extinguisher, make sure its not expired and if you don’t own one, purchase one and learn how to use it!

Step 5: Deep Clean Carpets
Rent a professional grade carpet cleaner and deep clean all the carpets in your house, or hire professionals to do it for you. It’s best to do this after all your other cleaning is done, so that your fresh carpets don’t get covered with residue from all your other cleaning jobs.

Step 6: Clean Your Exterior
Spring is the perfect time to clean the outside of your home – rent a power washer and wash the exterior of your home as well as driveways and sidewalks. If you’re not comfortable doing it yourself, you can always hire a professional.

Don’t forget:

  • Sliding door tracks – these might not seem like a big deal, but having them clean makes a huge difference! Use a dry toothbrush to loosen dirt and then vacuum it up. If you want an even deeper clean use a wet rag or sponge to finish the job.
  • Light fixtures – make sure the electricity is off and bulbs are clean then dust with a microfiber cloth and wipe light bulbs down with a rag moistened with vinegar
  • Baseboards and doorframes – Put a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a bucket and dilute it with warm water then wipe down baseboards and doorframes with a sponge
  • Walls – walls can be cleaned with the same mixture used for baseboards and doorframes

Interested in buying or selling a home in Southern Delaware? Give us a call at Cooper Real Estate Associates and put us to work for you — 302-856-6434!

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Thursday Three: 3 Tips for Organizing your Entryway

At its best an entryway should welcome people into your home and be an organized spot that makes your life easier! Here are three tips for organizing your entryway to allow for both beauty and function…


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The entryway of a home is often either abused or underutilized.  At its best an entryway should welcome people into your home and be an organized spot that makes your life easier!  Here are three tips for organizing your entryway to allow for both beauty and function.

  1. Limit clutter – Don’t drop everything you’re holding in the entryway as soon as you enter.  Mail, keys, bags, shoes, coats etc. can clutter an area faster than you can blink, so make sure everything has a designated spot and put it away as soon as you walk in!
  2. Utilize multifunctional pieces – Multifunctional pieces that offer storage and fit your space are the key to having a welcoming, organized entryway.  For example, a chest can offer both seating and storage, a coat rack/bench combo has many uses, and a basket rack gives you a place to hang your coat as well as out of site storage for keys, mail, pet leashes, or anything else you might need to stash on your way in or out of the house.
  3. Have a key rack – Be sure to have a designated spot to put your keys as soon as you walk in the door.  Having your keys on hand will save you time and energy later when you need to run a quick errand or make it to an appointment on time!

Of course, once you put the time and energy into making sure your entryway is organized and inviting be sure to keep it that way by making new habits and maintaining them every time you walk through the door!

Are you looking to buy or sell a home in Southern Delaware?  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266.

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Boost Your Curb Appeal

When you’re trying to sell your home, you want buyers to fall in love at first sight! Here are a few tips to boost your property’s curb appeal…


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You only get one chance to make a first impression, and first impressions are lasting.  We know this, yet when many people put their home on the market they don’t take the time to make sure that the first impression is a good one.  When you’re trying to sell your home, you want buyers to fall in love at first sight!

Here are a few tips to boost your property’s curb appeal:

  1. Take a picture.  You’re so use to seeing the outside of your house that you might not notice it anymore.  If you take a photo (or several photos) you may be able to see the property with new eyes.  Show the photos to friends, family, neighbors, etc. and ask them to point out any concerns they would have if they were thinking about buying the place.  Make a list and address as many of the concerns as you can, especially recurring concerns.
  2. Paint – It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do for the exterior of a home.  If the entire home doesn’t need to be painted, consider freshening the trim, doors, shutters, and/or garage door.
  3. Clean & repair the driveway – Take the time to repair small cracks and rent a power washer to get that driveway clean.  If your drive way is a major mess, think about getting it redone.
  4. Spruce up landscaping – Keep your grass mowed and fertilized.  Rake your yard.  Edge along your sidewalks.  Plant some bright, low maintenance flowers – marigolds are a good choice!
  5. Replace your door – If your front door has seen better days, consider replacing it.  Remember, the door is what will welcome potential buyers into your home.  Make it a nice welcome!
  6. Clean – Wash your windows and doors (including screens), rent a power washer and spray down the deck, driveway, sidewalks, consider power washing the exterior of your home if you aren’t going to paint.
  7. Replace light bulbs – check the view of your home at night and replace any burned-out bulbs.  Consider adding lights if the property is in need of better lighting.

Of course the front of your house will offer the first impression to potential buyers, but don’t forget the back and side views as well!

Considering putting your home on the market?  Let us help.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates and put us to work for you – 302-644-2266!

 

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5 Things to Consider Before Refinishing a Basement

Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing? A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work! Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…


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Do you have an unfinished basement that you are considering refinishing?  A finished basement can give you a lot of extra living space and also add a lot of value to your home, but finishing a basement is a lot of work!  Here are five things you should consider before you make any plans…

1.  Know the Safety Standards and Zoning Codes

Make sure all access points meet safety standards – do the stairs from the inside of the house meet building codes?  Are there any exterior entrances or does there need to be?  Is the ceiling high enough?  Will any structural support be altered?  Is there enough airflow?  Have you gotten any permits that you need for the work you’re planning to do?  And if you’re planning to refinish your basement as a rental unit, you will need to check with your local municipality to be sure that rentals are allowed in your neighborhood.

2.  Make Sure It’s Dry

Lots of basements flood.  If you want to finish your basement, you need to make sure the exterior of your house has good drainage.  If you have an older house, this is especially important.  If you’ve recently purchased your house, consider living in it for a year before making any plans to finish the basement.  See what it’s like in all seasons, so that you know what kind of moisture issues you are dealing with.  If your basement has moisture issues, take care of them before you do any finishing work.  Whether you need to install a drain, re-landscape for better drainage, reroute your gutters, install a sump pump, or waterproof the exterior of your house, not taking care of the issue before you finish your basement is like throwing time and money down the drain.

3.  Decide What It Will Be Used For

Finishing a basement just to have it finished is a bad idea.  Decide beforehand how the space is going to be used.  Will it be a family room?  An office?  Converted into bedrooms?  A media room?  A game room?  Your plans for the room will factor into your design and ultimately the amount of time and money it takes to do the work.  For example, a game room might just need some walls, flooring, and paint.  But more extensive projects will require you to think about electrical wiring, plumbing, and ventilation well in advance of starting the project.

4.  Decide How You’ll Weather-proof

There is no sense in refinishing an area that is too cold to use in the winter and too hot to use in the summer.  There are many different methods of insulating, and you should research them to decide what type will work best for your house.  In addition to insulation you want to make sure you have the proper heating and/or air conditioning installed in the space as well.  This might mean rerouting or adding duct work to your home, installing small wall units, or even upgrading your home’s existing system if it is not equipped to handle heating or cooling the extra space.  Again, you will want to do all of this research before you start any work so that you don’t end up with any big, unexpected costs, or worse, a lovely finished basement that can only be used for a few weeks out of the year due to climate control issues.

5.  Decide on the Finishing Touches

There are so many options for finishing the ceilings, walls, and floors of your newly improved space that you will want to do some research ahead of time.  A lot of these choices will depend on what you plan on using the space for (see #3), and I’m not suggesting you have every last detail down to your paint colors chosen before you start any work.  It is in your best interest, however, to do some research and narrow down your decisions ahead of time.  Putting this thought in before any work begins will prevent your costs from skyrocketing at the very end of the project.

Basements are versatile rooms that add useful living space to any home, but refinishing them poorly is not only a waste of money, but can also detract from the value of your home.  Spending time planning, researching, and fixing any existing issues before you begin work will save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run!

Are you looking for a new home?  (Perhaps one with a basement that is already finished?)  We’d love to help you find your dream home.  Give us a call at Cooper Realty Associates – 302-644-2266 and put us to work for you!

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