Does Your Home Give You Home Sweet Home Vibes?

Is your house drab or boring? Do you want to add fun accent pieces that scream look-at-me but in a complimentary way? Don’t worry; there are tons of creative and inexpensive ways to spruce up your home’s curb appeal! When adding character to your home all you need is a little creativity and a few hours to do these projects yourself. You’re only bound by your creativity. Your home is an expression of your individuality; let it be as funky as you are! Once you redress your home you can proudly call it your home sweet home again!


Use Bright and Bold Exterior Paint Colors

Paint your front door or your patio porch a bright, fun color like yellow or azure blue. You should be able to purchase a gallon of paint from your local home improvement store for $25 a gallon.  Adding flowerpots with colorful, fun prints adds a fun twist to your front porch. Get creative and paint your own whimsical design on the flowerpot. Wal-Mart sells planters for $29.


Add Fun, Whimsical Yard Art

Do you want to add yard art without purchasing a gnome? Sears sells fun, whimsical flamingo statues, a 3-piece owl garden stake set, and a frog holding a flower LED stake set. Each item costs less than $100 a piece. Or, do love gnomes but you want to give it a fun twist? Boutique on-line stores sell them in superhero or Disney themes.


Are you obsessed with outdoor frog accent pieces? sells whimsical cast iron frog doorknockers for $20, and colorful wall art pieces for $19.


Are you looking to add a fun furniture piece to your front deck? If you’re in love with peacocks like I am, consider purchasing a peacock metal and glass wind chime, or a peacock side table for $47.


Adding a stepping stone walkway can break up the area between garden areas. You can find cute stained glass or beads at a craft store along with the stepping stone materials.


Update Overlooked Outdoor Fixtures

House numbers no longer come in the traditional black color. Try stenciling the numbers on a silver plate in a cool font. You should be able to complete this for under $25.


The mailbox is one of the most overlooked and underwhelming outdoor fixtures. Build a stone façade surrounding the mailbox post to give it some much needed style and elegance.


Do your small windows lack character? Adding wooden shutters can make your windows look bigger while breaking up a large exterior wall. Or, you can create stained glass windows for not a lot of money.


Welcome mats are very inviting and can be purchased in a variety of fun, colorful themes. Let your creativity run wild and have fun decorating your home!

Curb Appeal Will Either Attract Or Detract Buyers

The outside of a home is the first thing a potential buyer sees and keeping it well maintained will help attract buyers to your home. When a home is listed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service the first picture posted is from the outside showing the front of the home. You could have spent $100,000 remodeling the inside of your home but if the outside has overgrown weeds inside the gutter and flowerbed, and has chipped paint buyers will probably move onto the next home for sale. You walk in and out of your house numerous times a day but over time you don’t see all of the flaws the exterior has.


Things You Can Do That Won’t Cost You A Penny!

You can clean out the leaves and weeds growing in the gutters, trim your hedges, pick up garbage and pull the weeds from your garden or driveway for free.


Adding Fun Colors Will Help Your Home Stand Out

Adding new flowers and mulch to replace the sun-faded mulch will add a nice pop of color to the exterior of your home. A well-manicured garden and lawn accentuates a house. If you don’t have a green thumb consider buying colorful container plants.  The front porch is the focal point of your home. Paint the front door a bright color that compliments the home.


Creating A Unified Look Adds Value To Your Home

Matching the look of outdoor lights, house numbers, mailbox numbers and garage door handles will give your home a fresh, updated look without costing a lot of money. In contrast, old or dirty hardware and fixtures make your home feel dated and may detract buyers from viewing your home. Match the doorknob with the other doorknobs in your home to give it a cohesive look.


Buyers Want To Envision Themselves Living In The Home

Add new patio furniture and a colorful welcome mat so buyers can envision themselves sitting on the patio drinking a cup of coffee.


You want buyers to feel excited before they walk into your home. Your home should feel welcoming and inviting. Buyers want to envision themselves living in a well cared for home that they can call home sweet home. Hopefully it’s your home after you add curb appeal!

When Is It Worthwhile To Buy?

At some point in time most Americans wonder whether or not they should continue renting or buy a home. Owning a home is a part of the American dream. With that comes financial responsibilities, and it is probably the most expensive investment you will ever make. Over the last few years it has become harder to obtain a mortgage. Some people enjoy the relatively stress-free lifestyle renting has to offer. There are pros and cons to both renting and buying a home. Only you can decide if the pros overcome the cons and decide if buying meets your needs, lifestyle and is within your budget.


Pros of renting:

  • Renting has a far less financial risk than buying. If the sump pump breaks the landlord pays to have it fixed. The landlord pays for all home repairs, and most renters don’t spend a lot of time or money maintaining the home.
  • If you need to move most landlords only require one month’s notice, as opposed to homeowners who spend months selling their home.
  • A huge bonus with renting is if you can’t afford your rent you only get kicked out, as opposed to your house being foreclosed on which can damage your credit for years!
  • Compared to being a homeowner, renting provides a more carefree and stress-free lifestyle. However, you will have nothing physically to show when you are done renting.


Cons of renting:

  • Your rent may go up year after year due to housing shortages, inflation or the landlords’ property taxes.
  • If you are in a multi-family dwelling, you may share adjoining walls with other tenants making loud noises an issue for you or your neighbors.
  • You can’t make improvements or renovations without the landlords’ permission. If you hate the orange, outdated kitchen you can’t change it unless the landlord approves or pays to have it changed.


Pros of being a homeowner:

  • Being a homeowner has the distinct advantage of building equity in your property, which can be used to pay for medical bills or entertainment products.
  • A home is a valuable asset.
  • Homeowners have the luxury of making major renovations, which can give a big return on investment if they decide to sell their home.
  • Homeowners get tax benefits renters will never get. Contact a tax specialist for detailed information.
  • Unlike renting where the monthly payment may go up, a typical mortgage payment will never increase; it stays the same monthly payment over the lifespan of the mortgage.
  • Over time the value of your home should go up, especially if there is rapid growth and development in your neighborhood.


Cons of being a homeowner:

  • The worst thing that can happen when you are a homeowner is if you can’t afford your mortgage payments your house will be foreclosed on, which will damage your credit for years.
  • If you don’t like your neighbors you may be stuck dealing with them for years. It takes months to sell your property.
  • You have to pay the annual property taxes.
  • The initial down payment and closing costs can easily take away all or most of your savings.
  • If you need to sell your home within the first 5 years of buying the home you most likely won’t make a profit when selling it.


Only you can decide when is a good time to purchase a home.

You just decided to purchase a home. Congratulations on making this decision! Now you must determine which features you need or want in your new home. What items must you have in your house that you can’t live without? There are only so many homes on the market in a given price range and in a given location. That being said, it is imperative you know your needs because adding too many wants can severely limit the market or end up costing more than you can comfortably afford. Some items on the want list, like an in-ground pool, can be added after you purchase the property. So, just how do you determine your needs vs. wants?


Knowing your budget is huge. It determines what you can get for your money. Where you want to live is equally important. Some cities are generally more expensive to live in. A $150,000 home in Angola, NY is going to be different from a $150,000 home in the Elmwood Village, for example.


Knowing if you really need a key feature can save you thousands of dollars. Determining if you really need it can be accomplished by asking some very important questions. Like, do you really need a 4th bedroom or will a finished basement suffice? How do you plan on using an extra bedroom; is it going to be a kids’ playroom or an office? Or, maybe you decide you really need a huge backyard. What quantifies a huge backyard? Is a quarter acre enough land or do you mean 5 acres of land? It might be next to impossible to find that amount of acreage in Cheektowaga, NY, especially for a decent asking price.


To help differentiate between your needs and wants, I would recommend creating a chart of all interior and exterior items you would like. Next, order the items from the most important to the least important. Number 1 will be the most important. If 2 or more people are buying the home, all decision makers should independently fill this chart out and then compare lists. All low numbers should be on the needs list.


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Now that you have your needs list a Realtor can help you find your home sweet home!

You decided you want to sell your house by yourself. Maybe you’re like most For Sale By Owners (FSBO) who has been trying to sell your home for months, endlessly showing your home and not getting any offers. This can be very frustrating! You may think you are saving yourself thousands of dollars for the listing agents’ commission, but they are experts in their field and can actually net you more money from the sale of your home! Here’s 8 ways you are costing yourself thousands of dollars. Read more

Homeowners in Lackawanna, NY marched against vacant homes in their town to shame the banks into taking better care of their foreclosed homes that are in disrepair.  The unkept homes drive down the market value of homes surrounding them.  Homeowners are supporting this law and hope it passes because banks will be forced to maintain the homes, and it will improve the neighborhood.  To read the full article, check out