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Flipping Houses Checklist: Things to Remember

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice

Flipping homes can be extremely lucrative. When looking at the market and deciding what home to buy, you want to find one you can buy for a low price and sell for a high price. Most of these homes will need work done to help get them appraised for a higher value on the market. In order to get your home to sell for the best price, you need to look at other homes in the area. Look at what they have in them that your investment may be lacking, and remember not to personalize this project. You want to tailor it to the market, not you. In order to keep on this path, we created a comprehensive checklist for you to follow. These investments and repairs are the essentials to look at in your home. Keep in mind that going above and beyond may not always lead to a higher selling price. It is best to strategize and know the neighborhood.

Create a Template

Make a list of areas you will need to inspect in the home. There will be areas you can generally look at and get the idea but prepare to hire an inspector. Several areas will be critical to making sure you will not need to invest in fixing:

  • Home’s Foundation
  • Roofing
  • HVAC
  • Exterior
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Appliances
  • Basement
  • Flooring
  • Interior Walls and Ceilings
  • Exterior Siding
  • Countertops

Take note of any odor, molding, or water damage. If you can find out when things were last updated in the home, you can have a better idea of the property’s prior maintenance.

Hire an Inspector

Anything you notice you may need to fix, take note. Your inspector can further scrutinize areas and make sure there are no underlying issues to the home. Avoiding the unexpected can be a gamble but do your due diligence and avoid properties with extensive repairs that you cannot flip at a reasonable buying price. When you get your inspector report, you need to do your homework and see how much you will invest in repairs.

Budget Solutions

This can be where the buyer makes their worst mistakes. If you need to hire a contractor or installer for different areas, calculate this into the price. You want to have a budget set, and determine if your repairs can fit into your budget. Look at what is moving on the market in the area, and tailor the home to that style for it to sell quickly.

After going through your checklist and budgeting, you should be comfortable investing in the property. If anything does not feel right, go with your gut. You need to be extremely wary of projects out of your comfort zone as well. Get multiple quotes and have a good understanding of the market.

Tips for Upgrading Your Outdoor Patio

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Outdoor Living

We spend a lot of time and investments in improving our homes. If we expect guests or company, we will straighten up and make our kitchens and living rooms more welcoming and inviting to our guests; however, with warm weather here, you may be spending more time outdoors. It is easy for our patios to become neglected and outdated, yet these are the perfect areas to invite friends and family. Styles are changing, and it is time to upgrade your patio. Currently, many people aspire for their patio to look like a resort. To help you embrace the relaxing resort lifestyle, here are the three key elements to keep in mind for achieving that dream oasis look:

Patio

Before investing in the aesthetics of the patio, make sure your patio is up to par. Repair all crack, chips, and age damage that you may have, and remove all weeds and overgrown shrubs. You will want a clean slate before beginning your patio upgrades. You may even decide to tile your patio or install composite deck tiles–this can really enhance the space and show you care.

Furniture/Lighting

The furniture and lighting you add to your patio can create the overall ambiance. Try to find patio furniture that follows a theme–this can help your patio feel connected and balanced. Your patio can have more than just chairs, so consider adding any of these to really help give your patio a more resort getaway sensation:

  • Umbrellas
  • Barstools
  • Chairs
  • Hanging Lightings
  • Pergola
  • Plants
  • End tables
  • Firepit
  • Gazebo

All these and more can help really influence the space. Look for furniture that complements each other and do not neglect the lighting. Let your party fade away into the night with proper lighting to help set the mood. If you live where bugs may be, remember to invest in tiki lights or other alternatives to monitor pest control.

Entertainment

Finally, consider your patios a source of entertainment–this can be a focal point of the night or just help enhance the atmosphere. You can make this as extravagant or relaxed as you desire. Some activities and entertainment ideas to consider could be as follows:

  • Pool
  • Hot Tub
  • Pizza Oven
  • Grill
  • Outdoor Bar
  • Firepit
  • Speaker for music
  • Television

The list can continue forever. If your property has the privilege of a unique landscape, consider using this to your advantage. Lakes are great for boating and fishing or ad open backyard may be a great place to migrate to a firepit.

Consider upgrading your patio because it can transform the level of entertainment you can have when entertaining. Having this option also allows you to host larger gatherings. Investing in your patio can be a fun way to facilitate the outdoors of your home. Have fun this summer and let your patio be your new hangout.

Simple Home Improvement Projects with Maximum Results

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in DIY Projects

Personalizing your house is the best way to make it feel like home. While some home improvement projects can be very daunting and expensive, we tend to neglect some similar alternatives. Adding character to a room does not need to be a home renovation; it just takes some creativity. If you are looking for some simple home improvement tricks to transform your home, look no further. Here, we will provide home improvement projects you can do to your home without breaking the bank. Let’s take a look!

Painted Fireplace

A fireplace can be a powerful focal point in any room; however, if you have an outdated fireplace, it can quickly become the eyesore of your space. Instead of remodeling your entire fireplace, consider painting it. Painting cabinets and fireplaces are quickly coming back into style in the last couple of years with online DIY’ers raving about the results. You can add the color you want to your space to provide a powerful impact or go with a white to give a hard, clean contrast to the room.

Add a Dado Rail

Painting a room is one of the most impactful ways to change the room’s overall dynamic. If you are looking to create a bit more sophistication, consider adding a dado rail around the room. This molding can allow you to two-tone your color choices and give a more elegant finish to the space.

Replace Your Shower Head

Home improvements do not always need to be primarily focused on aesthetics. A home improvement that provides functionality and comfort to the home is equally significant. If you have an outdated or generic shower head, it may be time to replace it. Create a brand-new shower experience with a new shower head. This simple investment can take a boring shower and turn it into a wonderful spa experience.

Have simple home improvement tricks you would like to share with other readers? Let us know below in the comment section and remember to subscribe!

Commercial Flooring Ideas

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Flooring

Commercial environments are prone to heavy traffic.  The wrong flooring may wear quickly, fade, or even break down and increase the chances of injuries.  These are all issues you will want to avoid because investing in the wrong flooring will mean you will have to replace it more frequently.  To save time and money, you may want to consider some of these options for your business.  Since every flooring comes with its pros and cons, you will want to decipher which flooring option is best tailored for your needs before purchasing your next flooring.

Carpet

The wrong carpet fibers will quickly wear and create many problems.  However, that being said, carpet is not a bad option for commercial spaces!  Carpet can be placed in some of the heaviest traffic areas in the world, including malls and airports.  Commercial glue down carpet is a great solution for installing carpet in a heavy traffic atmosphere.  You can go a step further and invest in carpet squares.  Carpet squares are great because if one of them is damaged, simply remove the tile and replace it with a new one.  This can help save you time and money.  However, carpet does not do well with water.  You will want to avoid environments with wet foot traffic.

LVP

Luxury Vinyl Planks or Luxury Vinyl Tiles are incredibly durable.  Most options can be floated directly over the subfloor which allows them to be installed in basements, over tile, or any unperfect floor.  Most LVPs are also waterproof and can be installed in water exposed areas.  These luxury planks can be very resilient to scratching and wear; however, they can still be scratched with extreme abuse.  Being simple to install, very durable, and waterproof makes this flooring an excellent choice for almost any application.  LVP is a very versatile flooring option and has been the largest growing floor in the industry to date.

Tile

Look for commercial grade tile.  The smaller the tiles, the less acceptable they will be to crack and break.  These floors have an extremely long wear layer, are treated to be stain resistant, and can be easy to clean.  Tile works great for commercial bathroom or any space you want to add a more luxurious feel.  Make sure you treat your floors properly to get the most longevity out of them.

Concrete

There are several different types of concrete floorings available from epoxy, urethane topcoats, poly-aspartic finishes, and more.  You may have noticed many commercial franchises and chains have been using this look in their designs since concrete is currently trending.  With the industrial look, concrete is extremely durable, and with the right finish, can be very easy to clean.  

If you are interested in learning more about our selection, please visit us at Century Tile. We have a wide selection of flooring options that are perfect for your commercial space.

How to Choose Proper Lighting for Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

Light is an essential element to any room. Without proper lighting, a room can feel small and unwelcoming. Light helps color pop, it makes rooms feel much larger, and it gives a general good vibe throughout the atmosphere. When you think of design, the lighting may not be the first thing to cross your mind; however, this essential element will make or break any room. While floors, paint, and décor are essential, without light, you cannot even see the aesthetics of a room! Knowing how to properly showcase lights is important. There are three ways to light an atmosphere properly. Becoming familiar with them can help make sure your rooms in your home are properly illuminated.

General Lighting

Every room needs general lighting. This is the light that illuminates the space, and it can be an overhead light which covers the whole room in light. Your general light should provide adequate lighting to make a room easily maneuverable and not feel dark. Rooms with dark color themes like black walls, dark ceilings, or dark flooring may need more than one source of general light to illuminate the room.

Ambient Lighting

Take your light further and incorporate ambient lighting. This lighting is vital to support the room’s overall aesthetics and highlight attributes. You can use ambient lighting to highlight pictures, create a mood, or help amplify or showcase a focal point. This spotlighting is excellent to enhance a space and should be used as such. Overplaying ambient lighting can take away from its significance; however, too much light is never a bad thing.

Task Lighting

What about the areas which you need more fine-tuned lighting? A task light is a way to illuminate spots in which you may perform certain daily tasks. These can be installed under countertops where food is prepared or in a reading corner where you need a little more light. Task lighting is excellent because it is used when needed. Include task lighting throughout your home for a more complete look.

Some rooms may need several of each type of lighting. Others may only need general lighting. Additionally, natural lighting from windows is the best source to help revitalize your space. However, the sun is only available for so many hours, so do not miss out on proper lighting!

Storage Warrior | How to Maximize Storage in Your Home

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Tips

The key to minimalism is an open layout with no clutter.  However, minimalism is a lifestyle and does not happen overnight.  Getting rid of all your stuff at once and decluttering an aggressive approach.  A more practical matter is investing in more storage options.  The best storage options serve more than just one purpose.  When designing your space, especially smaller homes, you need to facilitate your space as much as possible.  Here are three easy ways to add storage to your design and help declutter your home more:

Ottoman

The key to minimalism is not going out and buying more furniture without eliminating some of the items you already own.  A good general rule of thumb to use in the beginning is for every one piece of furniture purchased, eliminate two.  An ottoman is a functional seat that can serve as an end table and includes internal storage.  For your own home, you will want to find an ottoman that complements your design theme.  Theses multifunctional furnishing can transform your design not only aesthetically but functionally as well.

Coffee Table with Enclosed Storage

Minimalism is a double-edged sword.  Some minimalist will lean toward Mid-Century Modern Design; however, this style likes to include open furniture to help make the space feel airier and more accessible.  Yet, if you want to store your belongings, they are very noticeable.  A coffee table with enclosed storage can still look great but adds a little more functionality.  Plus, almost all living room sets are not complete without a coffee table.  Adding a coffee table with storage can help you eliminate books, magazines, remotes, and other odds and ends in the living room.

Cube Storage

Cube Storage has been a trend for the last decade, and it has really been a great solution to tuck away unwanted clutter.  Create bins with labels to store mail, miscellaneous tools, or even shoes.  Cube storage is excellent to help create an aesthetic solution for storing your belongings.  You can get a wall unit or invest in a floating unit as well.  Find a style that best complements your home.

Under-Bed-Storage

Do you decorate for the holidays, and are you looking for a spot to tuck away your holiday decor?  Try investing in some under-the-bed-storage units.  With wheels on them, they can easily slide in and out from underneath your bed.  This can help you keep holiday decor and seasonal clothes easily accessible throughout the year.

Learning to see areas in your home to facilitate as storage is critical.  Just remember that minimalism does not happen after night.  Scrutinize your space and determine the best plan of attack. Start with a game plan, and you will be pleased with the end result. Best of luck!

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part Two

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

To successfully sell your home, you need to stand out against the rest of the houses available. The simplest way to achieve this is by capturing quality pictures of your home. As we explored in Part 1, you need to have the right amount of pictures, stage each room properly, and accentuate your exterior. However, more goes into photography than just your home. Knowing how to take the shots is equally important. Help your home sell quicker by using these quality tips:

Professional Angles

You do not need to be a professional to find the best angles. Your goal is to make each room look as large as possible. You may need to stand in a doorway or closet to capture the entirety of the room. Wide angle lenses are ideal but do not use fisheye. You want the pictures to look as natural as possible. Make sure nothing is too obtrusive to the shot. Take your time and play with the angles. You may need to take several pictures of one room to determine which is the best to help market the room.

Proper Lighting

Open all curtains, make sure that your light fixtures have matching bulbs, and double check all your lights are on in your home. Lighting is a critical element in photography. A properly lit space can look much larger. Do not take photos of your exterior in poor lighting. Pictures outside are best taken an hour after sunrise or hour before sunset–this time is referred to as golden hour.

Editing

Uploading poor quality pictures is one of the worst mistakes you can make. Do not overly edit your photos; however, having proper lighting and contrast is very important. Try to use a camera with at least 5-megapixels. Most camera phones are great than this today. Remember, a well-edited photo can make a world of difference. You do not need to be a photoshop pro. There are free apps available that you can edit your photos straight from your phone.

Using the proper techniques will help you move your home faster on the market. If you are struggling to make progress, you can always hire a professional; however, never underestimate the power quality photos can have on selling your home.

How to Capture Real Estate Pictures|Part One

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Tips

Real estate is a competitive market. You need to know how to represent your product best if you want potential homebuyers to make an offer on your home. Knowing how to take professional real estate pictures is essential to selling your home. You want to know what to shoot and how to capture it. Here are the general three rules of thumb to capture the perfect pictures for selling your home:

Not Too Many or Not Enough?

When taking pictures of your home, it is important to find balance. You are trying to spark the interest of the buyer. Not enough pictures can make buyers skeptical of the property, whereas too many images can hurt the potential sale as well. Aim for a dozen photos–include some exterior and interior shots. You are trying to showcase the strongest attributes of the home. Take pictures of areas that make your home unique and can help add to the sale. Remember to ask yourself why you are taking each picture.

Staging

Next, it is essential to make sure you stage your pictures correctly. Your landscaping should be impeccable for the photographs as well as your interior setting. Do not upload photos with messes or personal items in them like your car, family members, or pets. Sounds obvious, but you would be surprised. You may even want to remove bulk furniture from the space. This can be temporary for the photo but allows the area to look bigger. You want your home is welcome to look lived in; however, do it with taste. Remove your toiletries from the restrooms and only have essentials for selling points.

Exterior Tips

Not essential, but you can include some unique exterior shots to help your home on the market. If you live in a nice neighborhood, consider having a drone shot of the property, including some of the surrounding homes. If you have the ability to show one seasonal shot, take advantage of this as well. Homes can look different during the winter and summer months. If your environment does not have dramatic influences on the home’s exterior, you do not need to include this. Remember, you do not want to create a massive album. Three to five exterior shots are plenty.

Having pictures can increase the amount of internet traffic and views. Make sure you take the time to get the best photos to help sell your home. For more tips, be sure to check out Part 2. The more tricks and tips you have in your arsenal can give you the advantage you need to sell your home.

Four Unique Ways to Make Your Staircase Standout

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice

Many homeowners are not aware of the design opportunity that a staircase provides, and many times, people tend to overlook this architectural element when decorating their homes. From using your favorite color to playing with LED lights, there are numerous ways you can style and add personality to your staircases. If you are interested in learning more, here four unique ways you can make your staircase standout:

A Beautiful Stair Runner

One easy way you can add style to your staircase is to use a stair runner. Go bold by selecting a runner with a vibrant hue or pattern. From animal prints to more textured runners, there is a wide variety on the market to fit your taste. Prints and designs are timeless because they instantly add a fun vibe while hiding any tracked in dirt or debris.

Use a Creative Handrail

A great way to make a statement with the staircase is to add a creative handrail. You can use a handrail made of a different material than you would think to use such as a rope handrail, or you can even bring in a hint of nature by building a handrail made from a branch. The possibilities are endless! Top off the look by adding a well-placed accessory at the bottom of the stairs such as a small table on the side or a woven basket to accent your look.

Illuminate the Pathway

Adding lighting to the stairway can be beneficial for safety reasons, but you can also use lighting to set a particular mood. This can be done by installing LED lights on the side of the steps. Lining the side of the staircase with LED lights will cast a futuristic glow that can also feel luxurious in dark settings.

Rainbow Staircase

Love color? Well, you can express your love of different hues right on your staircase. You can apply linoleum made up of different colors right on the riser so you can see each color from the bottom of the staircase and you can enjoy the look of each color as you go up or down the stairs.

What do you think your favorite staircase look is? We would love to hear your thoughts below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!

The Ultimate Spring Checklist for Homeowners

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Hints and Advice, Outdoor Living

Chicago winters can be harsh on your home; therefore, it is essential to do an annual spring check-up of your house. Inspecting your home can help prevent any further damage to the structure and save homeowners a lot of money. This weekend, we recommend going outside and examining your house using this checklist to assure your home is in excellent condition.

Examine Your Exterior Siding

First, you will want to take a look at your home’s siding or bricks and check from any chipping or crumbling.

Repaint Siding and Trim

If necessary, you may have to repaint your home’s siding or trim. Experts recommend that you do not just “touch up” the area but repaint the entire section. We do this because paint can fade into different colors over time and it will be more noticeable that you just “touched up” the area than it was before you painted it.

Check Your Roof

It is imperative to check your roofing to avoid future leaking. Call an expert or two to come and look at your roof to ensure it is in good condition for the upcoming seasons.

Get a Chimney Inspection

Chimney inspections can help detect cracks or leaks in the structure that may be unseen from the outside. Also, you should have your chimney cleaned annually.

Clear out Your Gutters and Downspouts

A lot of grime and guck can get stuck in your gutters during the winter season. Clean out your gutters annually and make sure they are lined up with your home. There should not be any gaps or dips between them and the roof.

Look at Your Heating and Air Condition Unit

Check and replace your filters and air purifiers.

Inspect Your Attic

Attics should be examined annually to determine if they have proper ventilation. Homeowners should look for any hindrance in the vents and panels. Also, you should take a look at the attic to see if any leaking is coming from your roof.

Inspecting your home annually can be beneficial for you and your family’s health. Also, it can help save you money in the future by being aware of issues ahead of time. If you are concerned about something in your home, call a company to come out and take a look. It is better to be safe than sorry.