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Rhino Blog

Aug05

4 Ways to Supercharge Your Home’s Online Listing

While real esate agents are still key in the home buying process, recent survey revealed that 92% of home buyers start their search online. Considering our current situation, searching for homes online is not only more convenient; it’s also a lot safer. With so many homes on the market, how do you make sure that your listing stands out

Here are 4 ways to supercharge your home’s online listing. Use these tips to get your property noticed and sell it faster.

Upload good quality photos

In the age of the internet, listings with photos perform better than those without. Potential buyers use your listing photos to gauge whether or not they like your Colorado home. These photos will attract potential buyers; thus, making your listing more competitive. The key is to capture good quality photos that showcase your home’s best feature. 

When selling your Colorado home, you want to make sure it looks its best. As such, we highly recommend that you stage the rooms before taking photos. 

Tidy up the room and make sure that everything is in order. Focus on the strengths of the property and skip rooms that detract from the overall impression you are trying to give.

Be descriptive

When selling a Colorado property, you want potential buyers to envision themselves in your home.  

Tell people about all the great features of your home. Tell them about the lovely outdoor space, the newly renovated kitchen or the brick patio for BBQs. Make sure you’re actually providing value in your descriptions.

Sell them the dream neighborhood

Location is one of the most important things buyers consider when buying a house. Future owners can change certain features they don’t want in your home, but they can’t change the location and the neighborhood it is in.

If your home is located in a good neighborhood, make sure that you mention it in your listing. 

Are there restaurants, boutiques, hospitals and schools nearby? Are there outdoor amenities like a community pool, bike paths or hiking trails near your home? Can you walk to public transportation? Let potential buyers know about it. Remember, you’re not just selling a house, you’re also selling a neighborhood.

Include your contact details

You created an online listing to reach potential buyers and to sell your property fast. But your listing will be of no use if buyers can’t get a hold of you.

When creating an online listing, make sure that you include your contact details, your email address, as well as your availability. Make it easy for potential buyers to contact you.

Jul22

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Cheap and Easy Ways to Boost Your Home’s Value

Whether you’re looking to sell your home or just want to spruce up your home, now is the best time to work on some home improvement projects.  The good news is that you don’t have to have thousands and thousands of dollars to make your home more appealing and boost your home’s value.

These smart upgrades will help boost the value of your home without putting a hole in your pocket. Spending just a few hundred dollars can pay off big when it’s time to sell.

Boost curb appeal

If you’re planning to put your home on the market, keep in mind that how your house appears on the outside is just as important as it is on the inside. You never get a second chance to make a good impression, so don’t forget to pay attention to your home’s exterior.

Paint the front door, add some plants to the porch and power wash the exterior of your home. These are just some of the easiest ways to make your home attractive and welcoming to potential buyers.

Step up your storage

Finding space to accommodate all your things can be difficult, especially if you have a small house. It is a good idea to find extra storage space in every room in your home.

Maximize your space by taking advantage of vertical space. Increase the storage in your home by adding shelves or installing cabinets. The space below the stairs is also a great place to store shoes, books, and other items.

Neutral wall upgrades

Painting the walls is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to freshen up your home. A couple coats of paint can go a long way towards making your home more modern and clean. Choose a neutral wall color so as to make sure that your home appeals to a wide range of buyers.

Give your kitchen a facelift

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms to update. When potential buyers first view a home for sale, they make a beeline for this room. So, make your kitchen really cook. Also, make sure that it’s clean and reasonably updated.

Although investing in new appliances and installing new cabinetry may sound like a great idea, this usually comes with a hefty price tag. If you are on a limited budget, we suggest that swap outdated hardware and repaint old cabinets. This is a great way to freshen up your kitchen without spending a lot of money.

Jul15

Top Deal-Breakers for Home Buyers

So you have found an amazing home with an affordable price. Now, you are pressured to make an offer right away. Well not so fast. You have to understand that some homes in the market come with problems that may lead to expensive repairs. 

Most of these problems may go unnoticed, and you want to spot them before signing on the dotted line.  That said, it is important that you hire a home inspector to make sure that the property is in good condition. 

If the home inspection report came back with any of these issues, don’t be afraid to walk or run away. It’s a big decision so know what you’re getting into.

Water damage

Water damage is very costly to repair. The average cost of water damage repair is $2600. Of course, the cost may vary depending on the amount of water damage, type of water, size of the area, and other factors. 

When looking at homes, be sure to look for signs of water damage. Dark or wet spots on the wall or ceiling, damp or musty smell, and puddles around the pipes, toilets, and sinks are some of the most common signs of water damage. 

Buying a home in a high-risk flood zone can easily translate to a dramatic increase in insurance costs. Plus, it would be extremely difficult to sell your home in the future. 

Mold

Keep your eyes and your nose open. If you notice a musty smell or see any yellowish, brown or black marks on the dry wall, be sure to get an evaluation from a home inspector. 

Old roof

Generally, a roof is designed to last for 30 years before requiring replacement. Buying a home with an  old roof is not a problem, as long as it’s not leaking. 

But if you are to buy the house, be sure that you start saving as it won’t last that long. Replacing the shingles usually costs thousands of dollars, but if the roof sags, then you have no choice but to replace it.

Structural problems

Sometimes, small annoyances are signs of a bigger structural problems. It affects the safety and integrity of the house. 

The roof is a good starting point when inspecting for a structural damage. Sagging or uneven roof line is an indication of structural damage. Also, take note of simple issues such as hard to open doors and windows, as well as cracks on the walls. These are signs of serious problems that need to be addressed sooner rather than later. 

If you notice any cracks in the wall, then this could be a sign that the house has some structural problems. The house could be settling and sinking due to drainage issues or poor soil. 

Small, hairline cracks are common among older homes, but does not necessarily equate to structural problems. Look for wide cracks- those that are big enough that you can stick your fingers in. 

Jul07

Maintenance Tips to Extend the Lifespan of Your Roof 

Replacing the roof is one of the most costly upgrades a homeowner can make. Installing a new roof can set you back anywhere between $10,000 and $18,000. Expect to pay more for high-end materials. Once you’ve made that kind of investment, you want to keep it in the best possible shape for as long as possible. 

Luckily, getting your roof to last is easy. With proper care and maintenance, you can make sure that your roof stays in great shape for decades. 

Here are 4 maintenance tips to make your roof last for the longest possible time. 

Regular inspection 

Roof problems will arise over time, and that’s normal. But you shouldn’t have to wait for that. Regular inspection is essential in keeping your roof in top shape. It should be inspected by a professional at least once a year. This will help you catch problems early on and take care of them before they become major problems. 

Also, make it a habit to inspect your roof and ceiling after any extreme weather like rainstorm, snow or hail. 

Clean gutters

Clogged gutters can lead to leaky roof and water damage. As such, it is important to clean out the gutters twice a year, particularly in spring and fall.

Get up on your roof and get rid of all the leaves and other debris sitting on the gutters. It may not be an interesting task, but it can go a long way in extending the life of your roof and protecting your home from water damage. If you can’t perform this task, you can hire a professional to clean your gutters for you. 

Fix damage as soon as possible

If you’ve discovered a roofing issue, be sure to have it fixed as soon as possible. Any problems with your roof can quickly turn into major issues, especially if not addressed immediately. Don’t put leaks or other problems off until it’s too late. Once it starts, it will only get worse. Over time, it can have major adverse effects on your home.  

Prevent ice dams

Ice dams are thick bands of ice around the edges of your roof. Ice dams are problematic because they cause water to leak from the roof into the ceilings and walls. It can also cause your roof to collapse if ice and snow build up to a dangerous weight. 

Ice dams form when roof areas become warm enough to melt snow. The best ways to prevent ice dams is through proper insulation and ventilation of the attic. 

Jun17

What to Expect When Buying a House During the Coronvirus Pandemic

The coronavirus is affecting nearly every aspect of our life. School, workplace, and other gathering places are closed. Summer activities and trips were cancelled. Most people are now working from home. 

The process of buying a house has changed drastically over the last few months. If you’re considering buying a house despite the pandemic, you probably have a lot of questions about the home buying process. 

Here are some tips to help you navigate the new real estate normal. 

Showings go virtual 

Gone are the days when you just hop in your realtor’s car and drive from showing to showing. Today, many companies have canceled open houses and tours to prevent the spread of the virus. 

The buying experience has gone completely virtual. The good news is that, you don’t have to rely on the photos on the online listings. You can live chat with a real estate agent and ask for videos and virtual tours. 

Mortgage interest rates are historically low 

While most people are hesitant to buy a house right now due to health and economic concerns. There are certainly some advantages of buying a house during the pandemic. For one, the mortgage rates are historically low. That means, you can expect a lower monthly housing payments too. 

Higher credit score requirements 

Lenders are less willing to take a risk. As part of the many changes made to reduce their risk in light of the economic downturn, lenders raised their credit score requirements. 

Wells Fargo, for instance, increased the minimum credit score for new applicants for its home equity loans to 720. 

The process may take longer than usual

As mentioned above, lenders are stricter now more than ever. If you apply for a mortgage, you are likely to face more scrutiny. In addition, there has been an influx of refinancing applications due to the low interest rates. 

If you are hoping to move into your new home by a certain date, it is best to start the process as early as possible. You could end up waiting around if you don’t get a jump start. 

Jun09

Are You Ready to Buy a House? Ask Yourself These Questions

Buying a home is a big decision that should be given a lot of thought. A lot of people are thinking about buying a house, but even those people who can afford it and have a good credit score are still hesitant to take the leap.

If you wish to buy a Colorado home but aren’t quite sure if it’s the right move right now, these questions will help you reach the right decision.

Can you afford it?

Aside from your ability to cover mortgage payments on a monthly basis, there are still a lot of expenses you have to consider when contemplating whether or not you can afford to buy a Denver home. Mortgage payments and other fees will most likely take 20-30% of your monthly income. Are you comfortable spending that much of your income to buy a home?

Is your income dependable?

Buying a property involves a long-term commitment. You may be able to afford a Colorado home on your current income, but are you confident that you’ll still be able to afford it in a few years time?

You might want to put off buying a home unless you have a strong sense of certainty about your financial future or are established in your line of work.

Do you plan to stay put?

Most first-time homebuyers do not consider whether or not they’ll be staying permanently when they buy the house. But buying a Denver home wouldn’t make sense unless you are planning to stay there for at least 7 years. Most of the time, it takes this long to recover from all the costs of buying a home.

If you’re not planning on spending the rest of your life in the same house, then you should consider the resale value of the house.

Will you be able to maintain the house?

When you buy a house, the responsibility of maintaining the house comes with it. The hardwood floors you fell in love with are going to need basic maintenance. That floor to ceiling windows need to be washed on a regular basis. The backyard needs to be mowed and the list goes on.

If you are a busy person, it might be extremely difficult to look after those things. So, before you decide if it’s the right house for you, you also have to consider the maintenance.

Jun03

Do You Know Where Your Home’s Shutoff Valve Is?

Every home that is being built today has shutoff valves that are readily accessible. Knowing where and how to shut off your home’s main water supply is important especially in times of emergency. 

Don’t wait until you have an emergency before locating your shutoff valves. Precious minutes can be lost if you or the plumber has to search for it; thus, causing more damage to your property.

Once you’ve found the valve, mark it with a small yard flag, tag, colorful paint or anything that would make the location obvious. Make sure everybody in your household know where it is and how it works.

Possible locations

I wish I could tell you that every shutoff valve is uniform in location. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some are located inside; while others are located inside.

 In the crawlspace or basement

If you get freezing temperatures in the winter, the shutoff valve must be located in a warm area inside your house. In this case, you might want to look in the basement or crawlspace, where the waterline enters the home. 

Outside the house

In some homes, the water shutoff valve is located outside – generally in front of your house and near the side property line.  It might be in a concrete or plastic box on the ground. Lift the lid of the box and find the water meter. The valve is usually located next to it. If there are 2 valves, turning off either valve should work.

Near the pressure tank

If you get your water from a well and you don’t have a meter, find where the water pipes enter the house and follow those pipes to the pressure tank. In most cases, the pressure tank can be seen in the basement, in a closet near the water heater or the garage. 

Try a simple test once you’ve located the valve. Shut off the main water valve and check the faucets inside your home. If you can’t turn the valve, don’t force it. 

May20

Real Estate Listing Tips That Will Get Your Property Noticed

According to studies, 90% of home buyers begin the process of searching for a home online. If you want to sell your house quickly, then you need to put some thoughts into your online listing. 

In today’s competitive market, you need your listing to standout. Anything that can spark a buyer’s imagination can ignite a sale.

Here are some real estate listing tips that will get your property noticed. Use these tips to give potential buyers a reason to fall in love with your home.

Take good quality photos 

As mentioned above, home buyers start looking for homes online. Listings without pictures are often passed up. If you want to get your listing noticed, make sure that you take good quality photos and showcase the best aspects of your home. The goal is to make a good first impression among potential buyers. Listing photos provides the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression.

Today’s smart phones take decent photos. But if you want to sell your house fast, it is best to use a DSLR. Listing photos attract a lot of attention.  

Write compelling listing description 

Your words can be extremely powerful when it comes to selling a house. Write real estate descriptions that will get their attention. 

Describe the property in an inspiring and compelling way. Talk about the primary features of the property such as location, size of the property, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, and any recent updates or renovations.

Share your listing on social media 

Living in the digital age, social media is now a part of our daily lives. Millions of people from all over the world use log in to their social media accounts on a daily basis. If you want to reach more people, we recommend that you share your listing on social media.

By simply posting on Facebook and asking for leads on who might be interested can be an effective way of finding that elusive client.

Create a virtual tour

Living a fast paced life, people are always busy. They want to make sure that the property they are eyeing on meets their expectations before visiting in person. With social distancing guidelines in place, virtual tours make it easier for you to show your home to potential buyers.

Creating a virtual tour allows potential buyers to see all aspects of your home. It gives them an accurate, comprehensive preview of the property. 

May12

4 Simple Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Room

People prefer to live in a space that capitalizes on natural light. In fact, most homebuyers search for homes that are spacious and have adequate lighting. Not only will it make the house look bright, it will also affect one’s mood in a positive way.

Unfortunately, not all rooms have adequate day lighting. Insufficient natural light is common in rooms that face north, basement, hallways and powder rooms. The absence of natural light makes these rooms look dark and cramped. Luckily, there are things you can do to brighten up a dark room.

Whether you live in a small apartment with only one window or a large home with a dark interior, these tips will help brighten up your space.  

Here are 4 simple ways to brighten up a dark room.

Choose paint colors wisely 

Choosing a paint color for your walls can be a daunting task. It becomes even more challenging when choosing paint for spaces that lack natural lighting.

Light, neutral colors like white, ivory, taupe, and soft gray can brighten up a dark room. They provide a contrast if you have dark wood furnitures, doors or wood floors. They reflect artificial light luminously without the risk of overpowering the space.

Clean windows 

This is one of the simplest ways to brighten up a dark room. If your windows are extra dirty, you may want to use a diluted vinegar solution to clean your windows.

Combine an equal part of water and vinegar and transfer it in a spray bottle. Spray the solution onto your window and wipe with a clean cloth. This is an easy and inexpensive solution to a lack of natural light in your home. Always keep your windows clean to let natural light shine through your home.

Rethink window treatments

Heavy, light-blocking window treatments often absorb precious natural light. Let light pass through more easily with sheer or translucent window treatments. They’ll provide privacy during the day while allowing natural light to enter your home.

Place mirrors strategically 

Placing mirrors will not make a room brighter on its own. What they do is, they reflect more natural light into your space. When placed strategically, mirrors can really brighten up a space. To maximize the light, place a mirror directly across the window. Not only will it radiate light around a room, it will also visually expand a room so that it appears bigger.

May05

4 Important Questions to Ask Your Home Inspector

The home inspection is a great opportunity for homebuyers to find out if there is something wrong with the house before committing to buy.  This is your chance to review any issues and learn as much as you can about the property, including the kind of problems it may cause down the road. 

Here are 4 questions that can help you decode the result of the home inspection. With these questions, you can clarify a lot of confusion on the actual condition of the property and  figure out what you can do to navigate the home buying process. 

Are there potential issues with the foundation? 

The foundation is one of the most important things you should look out for. Some of the worse problems you can face are in the foundation – floors that sag, windows that stick, cracks in exterior walls etc. These problems will cost you a lot of money. That said, you want to make sure that the foundation is solid and not cracked in any way. 

Can you point out potential problems to me?

Take part of the home inspection and have him point out things that require repair, maintenance and further inspection. This is important as it will help you identify what he is referring in the inspection report. It can be quite frustrating to go through the report and have no clue whatsoever about the things written there.

What should I repair first? 

No house is perfect. Home inspectors even find problems in newly-built homes. The question is, which one should you tackle first and which one can be fixed later. 

Simple problems like a leaking faucet is not something you should ignore as it could lead to a bigger, more costly problem to address later on. Make sure that you take note of the problems that should be taken care of once you move into the house. 

Who should I call to fix that?

This is an important question to ask since it addresses 2 things. First, your home inspector can give you referrals to roofers, electricians or plumbers, making it easier for you to book an appointment with them. Second, some inspectors will just give you a list of things you need so you can do the repair yourself. If you’re not comfortable handling repairs on your own, you can always hire a handyman to do these small fixes.

Final thoughts

Home inspectors will not tell you whether or not you should buy the house. It’s your future home, so it’s your decision to make. Take a good look at the inspection report to see if the problems they pointed out are deal breakers for you. Make sure you’re comfortable with your end of the bargain before signing any documents. 

Apr21

Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home for Spring

The sun is shining brightly and the warm sunlight is reflecting through your windows. Spring is upon us! That means it’s time to break out of your winter rut and update your house for warmer days. Put away those bulky area rugs, thick throws and blankets, and transform your home with bright accents, colorful paint and fresh decorating ideas.

Here are some simple ways to refresh your home for the new season. 

Create a colorful entryway

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 2

A gallon of paint is among the easiest tools for updating a space. Not only is it easy, it’s also affordable and impactful. Your home’s exterior says a lot about you. That said, you want to keep the outside clean and organized. Give your home a fresh look by painting your front door with a bold color.

Natural elements

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 3

Incorporate little bits of nature into your home by decorating your home with flowers, branches, fruits or vegetables. You can also bring the outside in by framing photos and artwork of natural landscapes. Floral wallpaper or floral-printed accessories will also freshen up your room.

Switch to sheers

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 4

Sometimes, all it takes to update a room for the new season is to change your window treatment. During the spring and summer months, there is no need for thick curtains. Swap thick draperies with sheer curtains to bring in sunshine and fresh air into your home.

Sunshine hues

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 5

Spring is a perfect time to bring new colors into your home. Pack up dark tones and swap them with lighter or neutral tones.

This spring, decorate the room with subdued shades of your favorite color. Liberal dashes of white will also keep everything light and airy. If you want something bold and bright, yellow and orange is your best bet.

Update your pillows

Simple Ways to Refresh Spring 6

Just as you change your wardrobe for various seasons, you should also update your pillows this spring. While silk, velvet and tweed looks great all year round, they can feel a bit heavy during the warmer months. That said, you may want to lighten things up a bit. This spring, bring in pillows with breezy fabrics like cotton or linen.

Apr14

Important Parts of Your Home to Deep Clean This Spring

Spring Cleaning 1Spring is the best time to take care of some home maintenance tasks and give your home a thorough cleaning. While certain areas in your Colorado home will receive spring cleaning attention, there are certain parts of your home that tend to get overlooked.

Let’s take a look at some of the most overlooked, germy spots in your home, and make sure you that include it in your spring cleaning checklist.

 

 

Apr07

Cheap and Cheerful Ways to Update Your Kitchen

Cheap and Cheerful Ways to Update Your KitchenA good kitchen can serve your family for decades. If your kitchen dreams are bigger than your budget, it is important to make smart choices as to where to save and where to splurge.

If you are tired of your lackluster kitchen, then go ahead and make a few changes over the weekend. Remember, giving your kitchen a new look doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Use these ideas to give your kitchen a dashing revamp without putting a hole in your wallet.

 

Mar18

5 Things You Should Know Before You Go House-Hunting

5 Things you Should Know Before You GoHouse hunting is one of the most exciting parts of buying a house. This is especially true for first-time homebuyers. Perhaps you have spent years saving up for your downpayment and building up your financial profile. 

Unfortunately, the homebuying process can be a long and arduous process. It can be stressful and overwhelming if you don’t stay focused and organized.

In this blog post, we listed down some tips to make the house hunting process easier and more effective. Use these tips to help you find your dream home.

Mar10

Thinking of Skipping the Home Inspection? Think Again

Home InspectionSince home inspection isn’t mandatory in some parts of the country, some buyers skip it in an attempt to save money and streamline the buying process. But it makes no sense to put a huge sum of money on what will likely be the biggest purchase of your life without even knowing what you’re getting into. 

Thinking of skipping the home inspection? Think again. 

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