Thomas Murphy - Pine Shores Real Estate



Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/19/2012

A home's curb appeal is the first thing a potential Buyer sees. It can be a make or break decision before even entering the home and sets the tone for the whole experience. Enhancing your home's exterior with colorful accents is an easy way to boost curb appeal. Whether you want to add a little color or a lot, these ideas from Better Homes and Gardens promise to give your home a whole new look. 1. Pick Up a Paintbrush Painting your home's exterior is one of the most cost-effective ways to update its look. When devising your color scheme, consider your home's architectural style -- elaborate Victorian homes might be able to handle four or five colors, while Colonial styles look best with two or three. Also consider colors that can't be changed, such as stonework on the home or in the landscape, roof color, and the palette of surrounding homes. 2. Update with Colorful Siding Vinyl siding was once offered in only a handful of neutral colors, but today's products provide nearly unlimited color choices so it's easy to find siding to complement your home's exterior. 3. Make a Statement with Windows Cladding, the aluminum wrap on an exterior window frame, lets you have the beauty of wood inside and a low-maintenance covering outside. Manufacturers offer cladding in various colors, so you can make your windows stand out or blend in with existing siding. 4. Coordinate Hardware and Lighting Entrance hardware, door knockers, house numbers, mailboxes, and porch lights all add character to your home's exterior. Choosing the same color or finish for these elements creates a sophisticated look. 5. Create a Welcoming Entrance Your front door is a great place to add a dash of bold color -- and boost home value. If you want to add color, look for doors that come ready to be painted and opt for a high-quality acrylic latex paint, says Sara Theiss, a Therma-Tru spokesperson. Decorative glass inserts offer additional color and complement a range of house styles. 6. Add Shutters Whether operable or decorative, these accents add color and bring a historical touch to a Federal or Colonial home. For easy maintenance, look for fiberglass models, high-density PVC, or composite wood materials; they offer the look of wood but don't crack, split, or rot. 7. Set It in Stone The natural colors of real stone enhance any style of home. Stone veneer, a lightweight alternative, makes it even easier to add the appeal of this natural material to exterior walls. 8. Consider Roof Color It might not be sexy, but this practical aspect can have a big impact on your home's overall look. For cohesiveness, choose a tone in the same color family as the paint or siding on your home -- or pick out a color that repeats hues found in the brick or mortar. 9. Go Glam with Copper The eye-catching metal comes with a high price tag, but the finished look can be worth the cost. For example, copper gutters transform an overlooked feature into a design element. "If you have a bay window with a copper roof or a porch with a copper roof, and you couple that with copper downspouts and gutters, it can be very handsome," says Washington, D.C.-based architect Bruce Wentworth. 10. Stain Concrete Curb appeal extends from the front door to, well, the curb! By staining existing concrete, you transform a drab patio, sidewalk, or driveway into an eye-catching surface that resembles stone, wood, or leather. Acid-base stains are available in earth tones, such as tan, brown, terra-cotta, and soft blue-green, while water-base stains expand the color palette.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 2/12/2012

The last thing you want is a smelly house. When you are trying to sell your home the presence of household odors can affect the sale-ability and the bottom line price. Some of the most common offensive odors are cooking odors, particularly fish and curry odors, smoke from cigarettes or oven fires, pet odors or the odor from illness or incontinence. In order to remove stubborn odors you will need to give the home a thorough cleaning. Here are some tips to get you on your way to a fresh smelling home. 1. Open windows and doors. Place a large fan in a doorway or window. Have the fan where blow fresh air in. Use a second fan to exhaust the odors out. 2. Believe it or not the smells could be coming from your attic insulation. Odors from cooking rise in the heat and are trapped in the attic insulation. The insulation cannot be cleaned or effectively deodorized so it must be replaced. 3. Clean carpets and upholstered furniture using a steamer. A commercial steam extractor can be rented from an equipment rental place. Things like mattresses and foam pillows will most likely need to be replaced as it is almost impossible to get odors out. 4. All clothing, bedding, and drapes in the home will need to be laundered or dry cleaned. Odors get trapped in these are can linger. Check labels for care instructions and follow the directions. 5. Odor causing particles can get trapped in the duct work. You may need to have the ducts professionally cleaned to remove the particles. Before you do that, you might consider changing the furnace or air conditioning filters once a day until you no longer smell offensive odors. 7. Wash all the ceilings, walls and floors. Use a cleaner designed for this as you would not want to damage the paint or wood floors. 8. Wash your stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer inside and out. Don't forget the back of the stove and the coils of the refrigerator. 9. Place small dishes of vanilla extract, baking soda, sliced lemons or potpourri throughout the house to capture the odors and replace them with a better alternative.





Posted by Thomas Murphy on 11/11/2011

Kitchens are often the hub of the home and when it comes time to put your home on the market it is often said that kitchens and baths sell homes. A kitchen remodel can be expensive and time consuming. There are things you can do to give your kitchen a new look without spending a lot of money or time. Here are some inexpensive tips to get your kitchen in tip top shape in no time. -Upgrade your appliances Updating or upgrading your appliances will give your kitchen a fresh new look. You can start by ordering new doors or face panels from the manufacturer. If new appliances are in order you can find great deals at at discount stores. Many stores have scratch and dent appliances that may only have a small imperfection on the back of the appliance or in a place where no one would see it. This is a great way to save lots of money for more expensive appliances. -Pretty it up with paint New paint makes everything look clean and bright again. Choose a semigloss latex paint, which is easier to clean and holds up better in kitchens. Don't forget to paint the trim too. Wash all the walls and trim before painting. This will ensure the paint adheres to the surfaces properly. -Get organized Even if you have the newest cabinets and appliances a messy kitchen is never attractive. Keep clutter at bay with drawer organizer for utensils, pot racks and pull out trays for cabinets. If you need more room in your kitchen, utilize empty walls. Add open shelves with some neatly placed bowls for a great decorative and storage alternative -Use the right lighting Replace flood lights with a brighter and cleaner looking halogen bulbs. Install under cabinet lighting for a new look. Use decorative lights over the kitchen table or island to set the mood. Older chandeliers can get an easy upgrade by placing small shades over the bulbs. -Refurbish the cabinets If your cabinets need a new look consider either refinishing them or giving them a lot of elbow grease. Cabinets easily build up with grease and dust. Use a cleaner with orange oil to get rid of the grime. Test a spot first before cleaning the whole kitchen. If the cabinets are worn, consider refinishing or repainting the doors and frames. Adding new drawer pulls, hinges and handles can also make a big impact. -Fix the floor An affordable way to have a do it yourself new floor is to install vinyl tiles. Vinyl flooring is easy to clean and durable. At less than $2 per square foot, you can put a vinyl floor in just about any kitchen for $500. Don't be afraid to spend a little money to achieve big results. Most minor kitchen renovations will recoup at least 83% of the cost and may even add value to your home.