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Rhino Blog

Feb18

How Important Curb Appeal is When Selling Your Home

curb appealIn the real estate business, curb appeal is a reflection of how the owner takes care of his/her home. A clean exterior, well-maintained shrubbery, and a neatly manicured lawn are ideal, especially if you’re selling your home.

The idea behind curb appeal is to make your Colorado home look attractive to anyone viewing it from the curb or street. Some sellers, however, are so busy staging the interiors of their Colorado house that they sometimes forget to make the exterior presentable. This is a big mistake.

Feb11

Why It’s Important to Test Your Home for Radon

Why Its Important to Test Your Home for RadonRadon is a toxic gas that can be found in any house, old or new. It can enter your Colorado home through leaks in your foundation or porous building materials. Unfortunately, radon cannot be seen or smelled. Because of this, most homeowners aren’t even aware of the presence of radon in their home. 

Testing is the only way to know your level of exposure. This is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends that all homes be tested.

Feb04

How to Sell Your House in the Sluggish Winter Months

It's not peak selling season, but these smart strategies will help you make sure your Colorado home looks good even when the weather is dreary. Here are a few tips to help you sell your home this season.

Crank up the heat

Cold Colorado houses don't sell. If potential buyers shiver at your open house, they aren't likely to stick around, let alone make an offer. This isn't the time to save on the heating bill. Keep the thermometer at least at a steady 70 degrees. A cold house sends the wrong message. It doesn't need to be hot; it needs to be not cold.

Get shoveling

Don't let a little snow come between you and the next owner of your house. Get shoveling, and make sure the walkway is clear. If someone has to slip and slide their way into your house, you'll lose the battle before they cross the front door.

Moreover, if you want buyers to attend your open house, make sure they have a place to park. This task can be challenging as snowbanks and drifts accumulate. Don't clear just the driveway -- shovel out some spaces on the street as well. While you are at it, make sure you don't wind up with big piles of dirty snow near the front door. If they are concerned about breaking a leg, then they are not paying attention to your house in a good way.

Decorate, but don't go overboard

Some Realtors suggest stripping a house of all holiday decorations to avoid turning off potential buyers. But that sends the wrong message. After all, buyers are trying to get a feel for whether your house could become their next Colorado home. If your house is cold, empty and sterile, that sends the wrong message.

This is not the time to go nuts with plastic lawn ornaments. It might be the season to stow Santa and his reindeer out of sight in your cellar. Better to focus on some lighter, classier touches, such as wrapping a garland around the banister on the stairs or putting up a wreath. It really makes the entryway pop.

Become a weather freak, and stay flexible

One thing you can't control during the winter is the weather. It's time to start tuning into The Weather Channel, at least while you're trying to sell your house. When planning an open house, it's better to be prepared for weather changes. If a big storm is headed your way, maybe it's a good idea to reschedule for a new day or push a morning open house into the afternoon. Even if you can lure a few buyers out in the storm, a dark and dreary day is probably not the best backdrop for showing off your house.

Jan22

Overpricing Your Home Can Be A Costly Mistake

Getting the right price for your home is the first and most important step in the sale process. You want to make sure that your house isn’t priced too high that you can’t make a sale and that it’s not priced too low that you don’t regret the sale. 

All too frequently, seller’s opinions of their Colorado house are clouded by their emotions.  It’s easy to think that your home is worth more than your neighbor’s, especially if you’ve lived in that house for several years. After all, you’ve made some improvements through the years and your Coloardo home has been special to you and your family. It may be one of your most prized possessions, but what your home means to you must come to terms with what the real estate market dictates.

Some sellers would list their home higher than what their real estate agent has advised. Some do this in the hopes of getting more money out of their property. Others think that they can always lower the price later on.  This is not a good strategy. Your real estate agent has already provided you with information that can help you see the bigger picture. Listen to his/her advice.

Home buyers will not waste their time looking at and negotiating on a Colorado home they know is overpriced. There are a lot of properties on the market. They’ll just move on to the next property until they find something that matches their needs and budget.

You can avoid the pressure and disappointment of your property sitting on the market and seeing no activity after a few months if only you priced it correctly in the first place. Eventually, you’ll decide to reduce the price in order to compete with the listings that are actually in your price range. But since your home has been sitting in the market for a while, buyers may not give it much attention.

An overpriced Colorado home is not going to sell. It doesn’t matter how many sites your home is listed or how many glossy fliers you’ve handed out. You need to put the right price tag in order to get that buzz going around your home.

As the owner, you are free to ask for any price on your home. But if it’s priced too high, don’t expect it to sell any time soon.

Jan14

4 Smart Tips to Make Moving in Winter Easier

Winter is a great time to move. Since most people are out on vacation or busy with holiday get-togethers, you can get great deal with moving companies. However, moving house during the winter is not without challenges. Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures can make the moving process even more difficult.

Here are 4 smart tips to make your winter move easier.

Keep an eye on the weather 

Winter weather can be unpredictable. Even if the sun has been shining all week long, a blizzard may suddenly pop up just as you’re pulling away in your car.

Check weather reports from time to time and make sure to follow it up until the moving day. Keep the radio on until the movers arrive so you get the latest updates. Anticipate any weather challenges and adapt to them.

Keep the heat on

You might be tempted to have your utilities disconnected prior to moving day, but please resist the urge to do so. On moving day, you’ll be opening and closing the door many times as the movers carry your boxes. This will send cold air into your home. Without the heat, everybody will feel cold and uncomfortable. You’ll want to keep the heat on on moving day.

Protect your belongings 

Some items are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures. Electronics and other cold-sensitive items should be kept indoors for as long as possible and should be transported in a heated vehicle to avoid damage. Objects that are made of wood should be insulated during a move. These items can warp when exposed to freezing temperatures. Books and other documents will also need additional care. Place them in waterproof bins and make sure that they are sealed tight before they get loaded onto the moving truck.

Clear snow 

We understand that you have a lot on your plate right now, but make sure that you shovel snow prior to moving day. Snow and ice can be slippery. Clear the snow to prevent anyone from getting hurt. You may also spread rock salt on the ground to slow down the re-icing process. If snow is falling, we suggest that you mix calcium chloride with the rock salt. This will make snow and ice melt faster.

Jan07

Quick and Easy Ways to Winterize Your Home

As temperatures start to drop, many of you are probably taking steps to ensure that your family stays warm and comfortable throughout the winter. While cranking up the heat seems like the best way to keep your house warm, it can be quite expensive.

This blog post will help you prepare your home for the cold weather. Here are 4 quick and easy ways to winterize your home while saving money.

Install a programmable thermostat

The furnace typically runs 24/7 during the winter. Installing a programmable thermostat keeps your Colorado home at a comfortable thermostat while saving money and energy.

A programmable thermostat allows you to program the thermostat to be at a lower temperature in the morning and then set it at a higher temperature in the afternoon. In addition to saving money and energy, it also simplifies your morning routine.

Check for air leaks

Air leaks will allow heated air to escape. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, drafts can waste 5 to 30% of your energy use. This will prevent your home from being the cozy, energy-efficient home you want.

Inspect the doors and windows to ensure that there is no air leakage. Make sure that the weather stripping around the doors and windows are in good condition. Inspect the threshold under each door.  Make sure to caulk and weatherstrip doors and windows that leak air.

Run fans in reverse

Most people will only turn on the fan when they feel hot. But fans can actually come in handy during the winter.

Reversing your ceiling fan direction will make the room feel warmer. When you turn on the fan, cooler air is drawn upwards while warm air is pushed back down. This allows you to set the thermostat at a lower temperature without sacrificing comfort.

Insulate your pipes 

Nothing is more relaxing than taking a steamy, hot shower in winter. However, your pipes are in danger of freezing and bursting in winter.

Insulating your hot water pipes will prevent heat from escaping through your pipes. Since insulated pipes deliver hotter water than uninsulated pipes, you can raise water temperature by 2 to 4°F; thus, saving you money and energy. It also prevents pipes from freezing and bursting. Pipes in the garage, crawlspace, and attic are in danger of freezing. Insulating them is essential to prevent broken or leaky pipes.

Dec17

Tips to Avoid Holiday Plumbing Disasters

Christmas is such a joyous occasion. Everyone is looking forward to eating good food and spending time with their family. However, holiday meal preparation and clean up can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen. Plus, extra occupants who require additional toilet flushes, hot water usage, showers, and washing can put a strain on your drain system. 

As much as you try to avoid plumbing problem during the holidays, you still end up with clogged sinks, toilets, disposals, and sewers.

Here are some tips to avoid holiday plumbing disasters.

Turn off water before going on vacation 

There is nothing more frustrating than coming home to a flooded home. To prevent plumbing disasters, make sure that you turn off the main water valve prior to your trip.

Pipes are susceptible to freezing during the winter. Water inside them expands as the temperature drops. This causes the pipes to freeze and burst. Shut off the main water valve when you leave your home, even if it’s just overnight. This is the best protection against catastrophic water damage.

Use a strainer screen 

During the holidays, you cook more food and wash more dishes. Having guests also mean taking more showers. 

Hair and food particles that go down the drain can cause it to clog eventually. Using a strainer screen can help prevent these issues. They keep hair from clogging your bathroom sinks and bathtubs. Plus, they prevent food particles from going down the kitchen sink.

Give the garbage disposal a break 

Your garbage disposal is not a trash can, so you shouldn’t treat it like one. Overloading your garbage disposal can damage the blades and create clogs. Never feed your garbage disposal with items such as fibrous foods, fruit and vegetable peels, and bones.

Never dump grease down the drain 

Fat and grease are common bi-products of any holiday feast. But they are a drain’s worst nightmare. Pouring excess grease down the drain may not seem like a big deal, but they tend to harden as they cool down. This can seriously clog the drain.

Be mindful of what you put down the drains. Pour excess grease in an empty container and then throw it in the trash can.

Get your trashcans ready 

Throwing trash like cigarette butts, kid’s toys, sanitary napkins, and paper towels down the toilet can create a plumbing disaster you don’t want to deal with. Place trash cans in the bathroom, so guests won’t be tempted to throw trash elsewhere.

Dec10

Tips for Selling Your Home During the Holidays

Among the many myths we hear in real estate, one of the biggest whoppers is that the holidays are the worst time to sell. Perhaps, this misconception stemmed from the fact that spring and summer are the busiest seasons in the real estate market. 

Winter may be the least active real estate season, but it is actually a great time to sell your Colorado house. There are fewer homes for sale. The competition is less fierce. Plus, homes embellished with lights and holiday decorations make for better showings. 

Here are some tips to help your sale go smoothly. 

Create a knockout online listing 

Living in the digital age, the home buying process usually starts online. Potential buyers would look at online listings and find properties that suit their needs and budget. 

To make a good first impression, we highly recommend that you create a knockout online listing. Make sure it includes high quality photos that highlights your Colorado home’s best features. 

Keep it cozy 

House hunting during the winter can be a challenge. From sub zero temperatures to driving in ice and snow, these conditions can put potential buyers in a less than jovial mood. 

Keep the heat up to a comfortable level. Also, offer holiday cheer by offering a plate of cookies and warm beverages. This will give potential buyers a reason to spend more time in your Denver home. 

Give them a place to escape the cold and they’ll spend more time admiring your home’s best features. 

Price it right 

While we usually see a decrease in the number of buyers during this time of the year, those who are still in the market are incredibly serious buyers. 

If you want to sell your Colorado home fast and for top dollar, then make sure that it is priced appropriately. Don’t overshoot your asking price. These buyers are looking to move in fast. Many of them don’t have the luxury of waiting until the weather gets warmer. 

Deck the halls, but don’t go overboard. 

When buyers walk into your Colorado home, you want them to be able to envision themselves living there. As you stage your home for showings, we suggest that you add some tasteful yet festive decorations. Some decors can add some holiday spirit to your home, but make sure not to overdo it. 

Keep the seasonal decorations simple and easy to maintain. Remember, not everyone has the same love of holiday decorations. Plus, too many decorations can be distracting and overwhelming. 

Dec04

Simple and Festive Holiday Decorating Ideas

The holiday season is often filled with fun and excitement. With gifts in tow, people travel thousands of miles just to be with their family. There’s also an abundance of delicious meals and tasty treats. However, nothing says Christmas than a beautifully decorated home.

Use these holiday decorating ideas and turn your home into a festive gathering place for family and friends.

Mix It Up

‘Tis the season to create and decorate the most festive tree for the holidays. To offer a refreshing change from the traditional holiday schemes, consider mixing things up with a new color palette. Also feel free to decorate it with colourful garlands, elegant ornaments, silver balls and more.

Festive Tableware

Think seasonal when dressing up the holiday table so you don’t have to worry about taking it down once Christmas is over. Now is the perfect time to get that red and white china and glassware that has been sitting on the cupboard all year. You can also decorate a serving tray with silver ornaments for a simple yet elegant centrepiece.

Festive Foraging

Pinecones are free and plentiful during the winter, making them a holiday decorating favorite. Tucking some pinecones here and there can easily vamp up yourColorado  home and make it feel warm and cozy.

You don’t have to limit your pinecone decorating to winter displays. You can use them to decorate your dinner table or the fireplace. If you’re feeling crafty, you can create wreaths, vibrant basket arrangement of pine cones or candle stick holders.

Warm Welcome

The weather outside is frightful, but nothing beats the warm and comforting glow of a blazing fireplace. Make your fireplace an eye-catching addition to your living room.

Create the perfect Christmas scene by hanging some festive stockings off the mantle. You can also drape real evergreens and pinecones across the mantle for an earthy look.

Front Door Flair

Hang a wreath on your front door to create a festive impression to your guests before they even knock on your door. You can either buy a wreath or just make it on your own.

Nov19

Tips for Staging Your Home During the Holidays

Most people believe that spring is the ideal time to sell your Colorado home. While selling your home during the holiday season has its challenges, it gives you an opportunity to show your Denver home at its very best. In fact, it is a great selling point. Buyers will find it easier to envision their family celebrating the holidays in your house once they see that it’s full of holiday cheer.

Create a festive, buyer-friendly environment with these staging tips.

Keep it simple

As tempting as it is to hang every last ornament to celebrate the season, it is best to keep your decorating to a minimum. Too much holiday cheer can drive potential buyers away. Subtle hints like a hand-sewn stocking hanging from the fire place, mulled cider brewing on the stovetop or a welcoming evergreen wreath at the front door gives the space a jolt of spirit.

Complement your palette

You’ll want to think of about the color scheme when adding holiday decor in your home. Skip the clashing red and green garland if your living room is painted a soothing ocean blue. In this case, a silver glass-ball wreath or white snowflakes would be more appropriate.

Create a cozy vibe

Colorado Home buyers don’t want to look at properties that are freezing cold. Make sure that the thermostat is set at warm. 

To create a cozy, warm feeling, we suggest sparking up some candles or start a fire in the fireplace. Also, give house hunters a reason to stay for a bit longer by serving cookies or hot beverages.

Light up your home

Winter can be a dreary season. Open curtains or blinds during the day to let natural light in. Use simple string lighting to draw attention to the gorgeous fir tree in your front yard. Most importantly, make sure to consider safety above all else. Light up the walkway and porch when showing your house at night.

Nov12

4 Maintenance Skills Aspiring Homeowners Need to Master

Being a homeowner entails a lot of responsibilities. This includes taking care of your home and making sure that it stays in tip top shape. Some maintenance tasks require the assistance of a professional, but there are a number of things you can do to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Here are 4 maintenance skills aspiring homeowners need to master. Master these skills to keep your home in the best condition possible. Plus, it will help you save lots of money down the road.

Changing air filters

According to the U.S. FDA, indoor air is more polluted than outdoor air. You may not realize it, but there are lots of pollutants inside your Colorado home. Dust, dirt, pet dander, mold, pollen, chemicals, and the list go on. These pollutants get trapped in the air filters.

During the summer and winter months, your HVAC system is running round the clock. That means, the air inside your Colorado home is being re-circulated again and again. When the air filter is dirty, these pollutants will be blown back into your home and will be floating in the air. Make it a habit to change your air filters every 30 to 90 days. Not only will it improve indoor air quality, it will also help extend the life of your HVAC system.

Unclogging drains 

If you notice that the sink is draining slower than usual or there is standing water in the tub, you probably have a clogged drain.

Clogged drains can be a serious nuisance, which is why you need to address the problem fast. You can clear up even the most stubborn clogs with a little practice and some simple tools.

Cleaning gutters 

Most people don’t give their gutters much thought until they stop working properly. Your gutters are designed to keep water away from your Colorado home. When it’s clogged, water can’t run through them and will collect in the roof. Eventually, it will cause damage. When there is too much water on the roof, it will drip down the side of your house.

The last thing you want is to deal with water damage due to clogged gutters. Make sure that you clean your gutters regularly to ensure that they are working properly. You may also want to consider putting a gutter guard to prevent leaves, twigs, and other debris from accumulating.

Repair a leaky faucet 

Every homeowner will experience plumbing problems at some point. Leaky faucets are one of the most common problems homeowners face. Often, they tend to ignore the problem thinking it isn’t a big deal. But if left unattended, you’ll be wasting a lot of water. Also, this can lead to a bigger, more complicated problem. Learn how to fix a leaky faucet. It’s a simple task that anyone can handle.

Nov05

Best Things About Buying a House in the Fall

If you’re in the market for a Colorado home, you’re probably wondering if you missed the boat by not purchasing one during the spring or summer months. After all, that’s the best time to buy a property, right? Not necessarily.

The cooler days are starting to set in and the days are getting shorter, but fall may be a good time to go house hunting. In fact, it is a season filled with great deals.

Still not convinced? Here are 4 reasons why fall can be a great time to buy a house.

Less competition

Real estate market ebbs and flows just like the season. Potential buyers start looking at Denver houses as the sun comes out and slows down by the end of the summer. At this point, families who want to be home before school starts are no longer shopping. That means that there aren’t as many buyers as there were in spring and summer.

With fewer buyers out there, you don’t have to go on a bidding war just to get the Colorado home you really want.

Home for the holidays

The holidays are coming quickly. While some people are busy with their holiday shopping, you might want to take this time to go house hunting. Getting settled in your new home for the holidays can heighten your holiday mood. Since you have a new Colorado home, why don’t you host this year’s event and invite your family and a few friends over?

Year-end tax break

Buying a property during this time of the year allows you to take advantage of tax breaks, including property tax deductions, prepaid interest deductions, FHA and PMI mortgage insurance premium deduction and mortgage interest deductions.

More attention from your agent

With the reduced activity during this time of the year, you can enjoy additional attention from your agent. They can respond more quickly and spend more time discussing about certain things as their client load starts to dwindle down.

Oct16

3 Signs Your Home May be Contaminated with Mold

Mold is a homeowner’s worst nightmare. Not only is it unsightly, it can a costly and dangerous problem. The problem is that most homeowners aren’t even aware that mold is already lurking within their home. 

If you suspect that there is mold in your home, it is important to clean it and address the problem as early as possible. If you can find mold before it becomes a major problem, remediation will be much easier to complete. 

Listed below are 3 signs that may indicate that your home may be contaminated with mold. Be on the lookout for signs of a possible mold infestation. 

Visual indicators of mold growth

If you can see mold, then that’s an obvious sign that you have mold growing in your home. However, some people don’t notice small patches of mold and think they’re just dirt. 

Molds tend to grow and spread fast, especially when moisture is present.  The mere fact that you see small spots of mold, it means that your home provides an ideal environment for mold growth. Don’t ignore it. Get rid of it fast to prevent it from spreading. 

Musty smell

Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you notice a musty smell in your home, it means that you already have a mold problem. This is a sign that you should take action.  

Walk through your home and try to find the source of the problem. If an area in your home persistently smells musty, focus on that area and try to find out where the mold is. 

Hire a mold remediation expert immediately to help you get rid of molds, especially if they are in an unreachable area like behind the walls. 

Allergy symptoms

Exposure to mold can cause allergic symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, itchy skin, puffy eyes and even asthma. If your symptoms tend to flare up whenever you’re at home and feel better when you’re away, there’s a good chance that mold may be what’s causing the allergy. 

Oct08

How to Sell a Distressed House

Let’s face it. No for sale house is ever perfect. But if your Colorado house is in bad shape, you may find it extremely difficult to sell it.

Properties become distressed for several reasons. Maybe it’s due to old age, slacker tenants who treat your house with disrespect or financial strain. If you have an imperfect home but you need to sell it fast, selling may feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle.

Now, the question is, how do you sell a distressed house? Here are a few tips to help your substandard home shine bright and attract willing and able buyers.

Make it clean and clutter free

The first and most important thing you have to do is to de-clutter your Denver house and make sure to get rid of anything that would distract a buyer’s attention.

Also, we suggest removing anything that is outdated and dirty. Sometimes, all it takes is taking down those awful curtains and cleaning every corner of the house.

Fix up your home’s exterior

Most potential buyers make a decision during the first few seconds of seeing a Colorado house. Remember, first impressions are everything.

To attract the attention of buyers, it would be a good idea to maintain the garden, mow the lawn and give the outside of your home a fresh paint job. With very minimal cost and effort, you’ll be surprised how new and improved your house can look.

Be honest

When selling a less than perfect Colorado home, we want to stress the importance of being honest in your marketing. There’s no point in hiding your house’s imperfections since home inspectors are going to find out about those issues anyway. If this happens, buyers are going to be disappointed and the next buyer might not want to look at it since it fell out of escrow.

Sell the house as-is

Let’s face it. Not all of us have homes that are easy to sell. But selling a distressed Colorado house isn’t impossible. Even if it needs major renovation or minor refurbishment, someone will be interested to buy it. You just need to market it to the right people.

We believe that there is a buyer for every property. If you want to sell your home fast but you don’t have the money to spend on repairs or renovations, look for buyers who are willing to buy the property as-is.

Oct02

Factors That Determine How Fast Your Home Will Sell

You have decided to sell your Colorado home. Now that you’ve already packed your things and you’re ready to move to your new home, the last thing you want is for your home to sit on the market forever. 

Keeping a focus on these 4 factors will significantly increase your chances of selling your house quickly. 

Price

You think of your Colorado home as a shining beacon of perfection and you’re thinking of selling it at a higher price. But if you really want to sell your house fast, you might want to look at similar properties in your area and determine how much they were sold for. Setting a realistic price on your home will help you attract more buyers. 

It is important to get the pricing right the first time than to lower the price eventually. Many buyers will simply move on if the house is not priced reasonably. 

Property condition 

Colorado home buyers are looking for homes that are in pristine, move-in condition. They no longer have time to make repairs and fix up the home themselves. 

Obviously, a well-maintained home will sell faster than an old and property that requires a lot of TLC. It is a good idea to hire  a professional inspector.This way, you’ll have an idea about the overall condition of the property and decide what needs fixing before the property is listed for sale. 

Photos

Good listing photos can definitely shorten the amount of time your house sits on the market. Why? It’s because most buyers would go online in an effort to save time. In addition, online listings and apps allow them to compare and contrast houses, and then narrow down their searches to a select few. 

Having good photos entice more potential buyers. Take photos that would highlight your home’s best features. Also, it is best to have too many photos than it is to have too few. 

Real estate agent

Another important factor that affects your Colorado home sale is the amount of knowledge and experiences your real estate agent posses. You will stand a better chance of a quick sale by working with an experienced agent. Choose an agent who is familiar with the area and has an experience selling the type of home you have. 

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