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.

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.

Why Do I Need Backsplash?

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Backsplash, Ceramic / Porcelain Tile, Design and Decorating, Hints and Advice, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When you think of your dream kitchen, it probably has beautiful cabinetry, a gorgeous sink setup, plenty of counter space, and of course, a backsplash.  Backsplashes are the perfect remedy to take your kitchen’s aesthetics to the next level because tile is a timeless home improvement that can make any room feel more luxurious and personalized. Additionally, tile can help tailor the design to your liking. 

Think of a backsplash as a blank canvas to express your design theme.  From monochromatic tiles to intricate mosaic glass work, your backsplash can be designed in a variety of different ways to make a statement.  That being said, backsplash serves more than just this purpose.  Here is everything you should consider prior to adding your backsplash to your kitchen:

Functionality

Kitchens can get messy, and drywall does not respond well to sticky messes and water.  Backsplashes primarily protect your walls and can make messes easier to clean.  Think of your backsplash as an extension to your countertops that runs up the wall.  They can easily be wiped down and help prevent stains from getting on the walls.  Backsplashes work great for behind the sink, range, or countertop where food prep is done.  You can even include backsplashes in your bathrooms as well to protect your walls.

Aesthetics

Functionality aside, backsplashes are downright beautiful.  Adding a backsplash in your kitchen or bath can help enhance your home’s aesthetics.  There are some many wonderful selections to choose from when picking your tile.  Consider mosaic, painted designs on tiles, ceramic, subway tile, or even creating your own picture frame with pencil tile.  Your walls are blank canvases for you to create your very own masterpiece.  The next step is to find a complementary grout to help enhance the design.  You can go with a close neutral color or even a contrasting color to help make your tiles pop.  A general rule of thumb is to not have your wall tiles be a larger size than tiles on the flooring.

Other Materials

There are more than just ceramic or glass tiles you can use to create your look.  You can invest in granite, stainless steel, laminate, shiplap, or even sheet glass for a flawless look.  Decide what backsplash will enhance your design the most while considering how messy your walls may get and what application works best.  Find the best solution for functionality and then go about the design for your home.

Backsplashes are perfect upgrades to improve your home’s beauty and value.  They say “copying” is the highest form of flattery.  Look online or in person for a style you would like to replicate. If you need help or assistance, one of our knowledgable sales associates would love to assist you in finding the perfect look. 

How to Choose the Perfect Bathroom Tile

Written by creatingyourspace on . Posted in Design and Decorating, Flooring, Hints and Advice, Kitchen and Bath, Remodeling, Tile, Tips

When deciding to begin a bathroom remodel, we get excited to explore all the different ideas that can be incorporated. We look at countertops, sinks, cabinets, bathtubs, but most importantly, we look for the perfect tile. Tile is a timeless bathroom remedy that can functionally enhance the aesthetics of the atmosphere. We generate a theme from what we have seen before and have liked. Maybe you saw a rustic design at a restaurant, or perhaps your friends’ house has a simply beautiful, all-white design. While we search through a plethora of Pinterest pins and available options in a store, you begin to form an idea of the direction you want your bathroom design to go. To help you guide you during your decision process, here are our top three rules to follow in choosing the perfect bathroom tile.

Design

The first step is that you will need to select a design style that is meaningful to you. Decide if you want dark or light tiles, ceramic or glass, a lot of character or plain, texturized or smooth. Try not to select more than three tile types in your bathroom. Too many styles can feel busy and chaotic. To make your design feel more uniform, you will want to pick a primary tile and secondary tile. Your other tile choices can be used for trim, accent, and added character throughout the room.

Scale

If you are stuck on the size tile, consider the relative scale. If you select a 12×24, you can use it to accentuate the length of a room. You can use a smaller, more symmetrical option like 12×12 tiles too if your bathroom demands more cuts. A smaller tile will mean fewer cuts around plumbing and furniture. If you go with a larger tile, it can make a small room feel larger. Be careful not to go to big in very small spaces, or it can look strange. A general rule of thumb is to never put larger tiles on the walls than the tiles on the floor.

Maintenance

If you are okay with a little more maintenance, natural stone tiles are great for adding character to a room. However, if you do not want to be spending a ton of time cleaning, ceramic and porcelain are your safest options. Glass can make great for accents or walls but is not a good choice for the ground. Look into some mosaic glass designs to add even more character in your showers or bath.

Picking the perfect tile is fun. It is safest to go with your first instinct. All tiles have character, decide how much you are willing to put in a space. Too many high-designed tiles can clash and make the space look busy. Also, do not forget to consider the maintenance and size you want in your home. With these simple guidelines in mind, you are ready to create your dream oasis bathroom.

Five Ways to Tidy up Your Bedroom

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

A clean, tidy bedroom makes for a happy homeowner. Along with making your bed each morning, we have created five simple ways you can tidy up your bedroom. Let’s take a look!

Double-Duty

Let your nightstand do some work in your bedroom by using a small dresser as a stand. The dresser creates a brilliant solution for keeping your room tidy and neat. You can store all of your necessities right next to your bed, and you will have easy access. Be sure to purchase a small dresser that will work well as a nightstand. You want to still be able to reach your alarm clock and cell phone on the dresser’s surface. Also, if you are looking for a consistent look, you will want to buy identical dressers for each side of your bed. This will help tie the look together and gives you extra storage.

The Purge

The best way to “tidy up” a space is by going through everything you own. Now, this process may take a couple of days or even weeks. But once you have gone through everything, you will want to sort it into different piles. The general rule of thumb is that if you have not used it in a year, you do not need it. Try and keep this in mind while going through your items that you need to purge. Odds are that you will find a bunch of things that you do not remember owning. Once you have sorted through everything, be sure to donate your gently-used items.

Clear off Countertops

Countertops can be one of the leading causes of clutter. To eliminate clutter and tidy up, remove everything from your countertops. Try and limit yourself to three items per countertop. For example, your television stand may have a television, a remote, and a DVD player. Your nightstand dresser may have a vase of flowers, your alarm clock, and a picture. By limiting yourself, you will feel begin to feel less cluttered.

The Great Divide

Drawer dividers can be an excellent solution for organizing your space. Try adding them inside of your dressers for extra organization and less clutter.

Stick to a Schedule

After you have organized your room, you will want to stick to a cleaning schedule. This will set you and your spouse up for success. Be sure to make your bed each morning so that you come home to a clean room each day. Also, you will want to make a weekly cleaning and laundry schedule to help you stay tidy!

End your cleaning on a fresh note by adding a couple drops of your favorite essential oil into a diffuser. The refreshing scents will help promote a healthy and happy lifestyle and mood.

 

How to Have a Successful Yard Sale

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

Spring is right around the corner, and you probably have a long list ready for spring cleaning this year. After you clean your house, you will most likely realize you have a variety of things you do not need. Spring cleaning is an excellent time for us to sort through our belongings and decide what to get rid of this year. Imagine how amazing it will feel to make some extra cash from a yard sale. You can put that extra money towards getting new flooring for your home. To help you have the most successful yard sale, here are some pro-tips:

Start Early

The longer you wait to sort through old items, the longer it will take you. Start early by sorting through your things now; tackle an area every weekend. If you have a garage filled with items, get started early so you will not feel overwhelmed.

Deciding What Stays and What Goes

This can be a complicated process if you are someone who loves to keep everything. If you genuinely want to do a deep clean, think about what you can live without having. If there is something that you have not used in years and probably will not use for years to come, sell it.

    • Pro Tip: getting rid of stuff is easier if you start early. You can tackle one area at a time and not be overwhelmed by all you are getting rid of.
    • Think of it this way: someone else could get a great use out of what you are selling. Why would you want to keep it stored away if it benefits someone else’s life?

Clean, Clean, Clean

Be respectful of people’s time and have items that are well-kept and clean. Make sure to dust off, wash, or wipe down all items before you put them out on display. Most people do not want someone else’s trash, and if you do not prepare the items, it may look that way.

Set a Date and a Time

Setting the time and day can actually be one of the most significant parts. You want to do your yard sale at a time of day that people will be able to see it and day where they will be able to stop. Typically, this is why you see yard sales on the weekend.

Spread The Word

The internet can be a great place to get the word out about your yard sale. You can create a Facebook event and leave your event open to the public. Another great way to spread the word is through flyers. There is nothing like an old fashion flyer to get the job done. Make sure to be descriptive and list some items you will have there. Include your address and a time frame of when people can come.

Price Your Items

Now that the word is out about your yard sale, there are some last minute organizational things. Set a price on your items and try to keep the costs low. Yard Sales are meant for bargain shoppers so try not to sticker shock your customers.

    • You can either label each item with a price tag or create a general price sheet for all of the items.

Clear Signs

Your customers will mostly be driving to your yard sale. Try to make straightforward signs on how to get to the yard sale. Put a sign before each turn and at the development entrance. You can each mark your driveway with balloons to help the shoppers.

Donate

Whatever you do not sell, donate. You already decided you do not need it, why not give it to charity?

Have fun with your yard sale and be proud of yourself, you have gotten rid of a lot of stuff! We wish you the best of luck with your yard sale, and if you need somewhere to spend that extra cash, you know where to find us.

Tips for Displaying Textiles as Artwork

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


Are you someone that loves the look and feel of textiles? If so, welcome to the club! We have learned from our many travels that bringing home textile from a favorite place is a perfect way to add to our collection. Textiles require little space for packing, varies in price from inexpensive to expensive, and will last for years and years! Plus, they have an infinite amount of uses for design. To help you gain a little inspiration, we have three must-try ideas for incorporating textiles as wall decor. Let’s take a look!

Framed Art

You can display that beautiful silk scarf you purchased in Madrid, Spain by framing it on your wall. Choose a matching frame with complimentary custom mats or pull the fabric from edge to edge without a mat behind it. Framed textiles are perfect for displaying the texture and beautiful colors of the piece. When guests are visiting, these pieces of art are always an interesting conversation piece. You can also frame them by using an acrylic box frame that shows the dimensionality of the textile. This will help add depth to the textile while safely displaying it on the wall.

Wall Hanging

As flooring professionals, we understand how diverse flooring nowadays can actually be. If you find a rug that you love, simply go to your local hardware store and purchase a finished drapery rod or a raw wooden tomato stake. If you choose the wooden stake, you may want to sand down with an electric sander and stain or paint to match your area rug or the wall color. You can hang it on the wall with hooks or drapery hardware. This is a great way to cover the large space of an otherwise blank wall.

Headboard for Your Bed

We love this idea because you can use almost any textile to make your headboard. The textile does not have to be finished; it can be raw because the edge of the fabric will be stapled to the back of the headboard: purchase pre-cut and measured plywood for the headboard. Your local hardware store will most likely measure and cut the plywood for you for free or a small fee. Afterward, purchase the fiberfill or batting from a fabric store to place on the plywood, so the board looks three dimensional and staple to the back of the board. Voila! You have a stunning, original headboard that showcases your travels.

We hope you enjoyed our article and would love to hear about your travels and treasures. Please share how you chose to display your textiles below in the comment section. Thanks for reading!