Doorsteps blog posts

Blog entry by Doorsteps

Preparing to Move

You've done it! You finally sold your house, and you're ready to move to a new space. It's an exciting time, but just because you've sold your house doesn't mean the stress is over. Instead, you have an entirely different source of stress - preparing to move. Even if you're using professional removers to help you with the process, it's important to remember that there are several things you can do to prepare. Take a look at a few tips that will ensure you get this process on track quickly. 

Understand What They Won't Move: Professional companies will move almost anything, but typically there's a list of items they will not transport. Often items like household chemicals, paint, pets, and food are part of that list. Contact your removal company to learn more about what they may not consider moving for you so you can prepare to handle that in advance. 

Packing: Is your removal company handling the packing process for you? If so, there may be a few valuables and essentials you'd rather handle on your own. If, however, you're responsible for the packing process, it's important to note that you should carefully label every box. It may help to sort things by weight for your removal company, too. Use plenty of newsprint or bubble wrap to protect your most valuable possessions.

Think Insurance: Most removal companies offer some type of insurance. You can either use their plans or find one that better suits your needs. Accidents do happen, even when you use a professional removal service, so make certain you're financially protected should it happen to you. 

Protect Your Floors: If it's raining or snowing, it's best to protect your floors before your team arrives. After all, it's not actually your house anymore. Use plastic drop cloths or large blankets and tarps to help protect your flooring. If you have hardwood floors, pay particular attention to any spaces that may get wet as the removal company comes in and out of your home. 

At Doorsteps, we can help you sell your home faster than you ever thought possible so you can schedule the removal company to come to help you move all of your belongings. To learn more, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Should You Look For a Better Home or a Better Neighbourhood?

As you work to find the right home to meet your needs, you're likely to begin weighing two factors against each other - the quality of the home and the quality of the neighbourhood. Ideally, you'll find something that has the best of both worlds, the home you want and a perfect location, but when that's not available, which should you value most?

It Starts With a Look at Your Values

Why are you buying a home? What do you want in a home? What do you want in a neighbourhood? A quick values assessment may help to answer your own questions. Imagine, for a moment, that it's just the two of you right now. You love having some small shops close to your location, and popping out for a coffee shouldn't take up too much time. If that's the case, you're certainly going to want to shop neighbourhood over home. If, on the other hand, having everything you want in a home is absolutely essential, and the last thing you want to do is make improvements after you've moved in, it may be better to take a harder look at the homes themselves.

If You're Still Stuck . . .

It may help to make a list that includes both what you value in a home and what you value in a neighbourhood. How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you want? How large should your kitchen be? Is outdoor living space important to you? How close do you want to be to work? To the train? Is it important to be close to a favorite restaurant? If you're buying your home with a partner, make sure both of you make a list together, and decide which features are absolutely essential and which ones can be sacrificed. 

Doorsteps Can Help

As you search for the perfect home in a wonderful neighbourhood, let us help. With thousands of property listings and access to homes other real estate sites just don't have, we'll ensure you get the home and the neighbourhood of your dreams. To learn more, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Adding More Light Before You Sell

Lighting can completely change the way you look at your space. More importantly, though, it can change the way a potential buyer looks at your space. It's impractical and expensive, though, to add a few more windows to your home before you sell. So, how can you get a bit of added light without breaking the bank? These tips can help. 

Think Decor. If you have dark furniture, dark flooring, or darker wall colours, you're naturally going to have less light in that particular space. While a paint job might be helpful, if you don't have the time or desire to tackle one, there are a few other things you can do. Start with lighter colours when it comes to throws, slipcovers, drapes, or bedding. Even a lighter coloured area rug may prove useful. Adding a mirror or two to space may also make things feel lighter. It will diffuse the light across the walls. 

Upgrade Bulbs: You may have light fixtures from the last decade, but that doesn't have to change how buyers look at your property, especially if you're using the right light bulbs. Add LED lighting to your home. It means more lumens per bulb, as well as energy savings for the next homeowner. You'll be surprised at the difference in the room.

Lamps! Still wondering how to add a little more light into each room? Start thinking about adding a few lamps to space. Find attractive choices that increase the visual interest of your property while increasing your lighting. Even if you don't have a surface to set a lamp on, you can add floor lamps that will do the same thing. 

Added Fixtures: If you're feeling particularly brave, you may want to consider adding a few fixtures to the various spaces in your home. New vanity lighting in the bathroom is a good choice, as is tread lighting on a staircase or accent lighting to help buyers focus on your mantle or other built-in shelving options.

Lighting can help sell a property like nothing else. For additional tips, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Preparing to Paint Before You Sell? These Interior Painting Secrets Can Help

One of the top tips any estate agent will offer you is to do some painting before you decide to sell your home. A simple coat of paint often gives a room that fresh, clean look nothing else can, and it may help to depersonalise that space as well. If you haven't done any painting in the past, though, you may be tempted to just stick the brush in the paint can and get started. If you want a really professional looking job, though, your best bet is to take a look at a few secrets to a great paint job before you get started. 

Start with Sandpaper. For perfectly painted walls, you have to start with a smooth surface, and typically that means some sandpaper. A bit of time sanding the walls means levelling out any joint compound left behind or flattening any ridges around the nails in the sheetrock. You don't want to use a lot of pressure or sand too far, though, or you'll create additional problems to repair before you paint.

Tape the Trim: It's not going to look like an amazing paint job if you manage to get that gorgeous new colour all over the trim. Instead, put painter's tape over any trim or outlet covers, then run a putty knife on the top to ensure it has properly sealed. Paint won't bleed through, and your walls (and trim) will look absolutely amazing. 

Use the Right Dropcloth: Often people choose to use thin plastic sheeting or old bed sheets as drop cloths. That's the wrong way to move forward. Often those won't be able to stop the splatter or any spills, and that could mean you have a massive mess on your floor. Canvas drop cloths are the best choice when you choose to paint. They'll absorb any drips and protect your floor from problems.

A new coat of paint can mean great things for your home before you put it on the market, but make sure you do your research so that coat of paint means a faster sale instead of a huge mess to clean up!

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Is The First Offer Always the Best One?

Many people hear that the first offer they get on their home after they've put it on the market is the best one they'll get throughout the sale, and they should automatically accept that offer. Is it true, though? Should you accept any offer that comes through your door? That's not always the case. Learning how to evaluate an offer can actually be a much better option. 

Understand the Buyer

The best first step you can take is to understand the buyer who just made an offer on your property. Most buyers have seen a house or two, and they've decided what they need. Often they will visit your property more than once before they're serious. Find out how many times the buyer has seen your property, whether or not he or she has financing in place all ready to make a home purchase, and how many other offers he/she has made. If it's just one, the financing is in place, and the individual has seen your house more than once, take that offer. It's the real deal, and that sale is going to happen. 

Think About the Offer

If you're still not sure, you may want to take some time to consider the offer. Is it lower than you wanted? That's not uncommon for buyers, but consider why it might be lower. Did the potential buyer list any problems he or she saw with the home or did a lower offer than expected just come in? Discuss the offer with your Doorsteps agent to ensure you didn't overprice your home at the outset of the process, because if you did, that lower offer may be your best bet.

Consider Contingencies

Some potential buyers will place a number of contingencies on their offer, and that may not be an offer you want to take. It could be contingent upon the sale of their current home. It might be contingent upon a home inspection or certain repairs and upgrades you make to the property. Either way, consider those contingent sales carefully.

At Doorsteps, we'll work with you every step of the way to ensure you get the help you need to sell your home fast with multiple offers to consider. To learn more, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

The Power of Closets

As you work to sell your home, you're going to come across many tips. Declutter, clean your windows, do what you can to make your curb appeal a little better. One tip you may overlook, though, is just how important your closet space can be. Potential buyers are looking for the room for their own gear, and many experts will tell you to clean out at least half of the stuff from every closet you have just so you can emphasise that space. For many home sellers, though, that's a tall order. How can you make it happen? These tips can help. 

Containers Matter! Invest in a set of cute baskets or boxes to help keep track of all of your stuff. Put those summer clothes away in one box; create one for your scarves, one for your belts, and a catch-all box for those little items you're not sure what to do with. The cuter the container, the bigger impression it's going to make on your potential buyers. 

Install Shelves: If you don't yet have the shelving unit in your closet, now is certainly the time. They're a good option for all of those cute containers you just purchased, as well as extra handbags, shoes, and more. Shelves are also a good way to use added space in your closet you weren't quite sure what to do with. 

Discover Hidden Storage Spaces: If you have too much stuff, the single worst thing you can do is overlook those hidden areas, like the top of your closet or even behind the door. The top of the closet could hold some of those cute bins or baskets. Behind the door is the perfect spot for an over the door organizer for shoes, jewellery, or other items you may not yet have a know what to do with.

There are many ways to make sure your closet isn't out of control when a buyer walks through a home. Do some reading; invest in some storage options, then clean out your closet so buyers can see just how much space your home has to offer. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Just Sold Your House? Do These Three Things Next

If you just signed the paperwork on your home, it's time to drop everything, celebrate, and walk away, right? Not quite. There are still a few more things you need to do before you're finally done. These tips can help you finish things up and move forward. 

Keep the Paperwork

One of the best things you'll want to do is pack the paperwork in an easy to find the box. You may need to refer back to it, even after everything is done. Make sure you keep proof of any improvements you made, too, in case there are questions or warranty problems. You may need to access these documents quickly if you're about to move, so make certain you know where the box is at all times. 

Find That New Home

Where are you headed? If you didn't have that in mind before you started the process, it's time to think about it now. You'll want to go through many of the steps you did to buy this house. Look in a variety of spots, and buy a home that will be right for your lifestyle in the years to come. You don't have to buy a home to be happy, though. If you're not quite sure what you want, rent for a while, then decide on something you really love. 

Bank those Profits

If you made money on your home, the last thing you want to do is go on a spending spree. Instead, put the money away for your next home or at least invest it in something that will pay dividends down the road so that when you do decide to make another home purchase, you have the cash needed to obtain a mortgage. 

Start Packing

The last step is maybe the sweetest after you sell your home. Begin packing all of your stuff so you can get out as quickly as possible. You may want to contact a removal company for help if your move date is sooner than you can actually manage to get everything done.

As you shop for your new home, or if you're still trying to sell the old one, contact Doorsteps for help.

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Red Flags to Avoid When Buying a Home

Thinking of buying a home! Congratulations. It's easily one of the single best investments you can make. Before you buy, though, you're likely to come across at least a few properties that just don't make the cut. How can you ensure you get a house that's amazing? These tips can help you avoid homes with problems!

Heavily Scented Properties: If you walk into a home and you only catch heavy fragrances like air freshener or candles, there's a pretty good chance the seller is aware of some odour in the home and is actively working to cover it. While some scents attract buyers, too much scent can repel them, and for good reason. Look for mildew, signs of pet accidents, or damage from cigarette smoke in homes that are heavily scented. 

Foundation Cracks: Most houses tend to have small cracks in the foundation. That's usually a pretty good indication that the house is settling some. Bigger gaps, though, mean there are real problems with the home. The same is true if you notice cracks above window frames or floors that are uneven. While most newer properties don't have these problems, it's not impossible, so check every property you visit. 

Ventilation Problems: The last thing you want in a new home is moisture problems, but it's not rare, especially in the UK. Watch for ventilation issues when you're shopping for a new home. Eventually, they can create mould or even irritate your breathing. How will you know in a simple walkthrough whether a home has moisture problems? You may notice condensation on the windows. You may also see bubbled paint around vents or doors. Both of these indicated the presence of moisture currently or at least in the past, and it's one mistake that can be expensive to fix. 

At Doorsteps, we've helped hundreds of people find their dream homes quickly and effectively. Let us help you find yours when you browse our properties and schedule a showing today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Buying For Your Life Tomorrow

The home you're shopping for probably reflects the life you have right now. You may want to rethink that. Wondering why? Buying a house is one of the biggest investments you'll ever make, and the reality is that you have to factor in your long-term plans if you're hoping to be a successful homeowner. 

Why Long-Term Plans Matter

According to many studies, the average homeowner lives in a home for just ten years. In a timeframe like that, many things could happen. You may find the love of your life. You might have children. You might change jobs and decide you'd rather not spend an hour on the train every morning and every night. Your parents could grow old, ill, and need care in your home. So much can happen in the course of ten years, and putting your home on the market before that time is up could be a disastrous financial move. 

How to Buy For The Long Term

So, what can you do if you don't want to make a move in the near future? Start by thinking about your goals. where would you like to be in five years? In seven years? Nail down the things you'd like to make happen in your life before you even begin shopping. Once you've done that and you begin shopping, come up with an exit plan for each house. Who will be the target audience for that property when you actually decide to sell? If it's on a busy street, it's likely not going to be families with small children, so is there another audience well suited to that property? Learning more about the neighbourhood demographics can help you make the decisions you need in this area. Finally, make an agreement with your partner. What's the plan if something happens to your relationship within those ten years? You may even want to visit with a solicitor to get this agreement in writing.

We can help you find a home you'll love now and well into the future. To learn more about our properties and what to look for in a home you love, contact us today. 

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Blog entry by Doorsteps

Breaking The Homebuyer's Hidden Gem Myth

There's a myth floating around among many homebuyers. Whether this is your first time shopping or you've purchased a home in the past and you're looking for an upgrade, you may already be familiar with this idea that tends to surface again and again: the hidden gem you can get for next to nothing that's absolutely perfect in every way. Unfortunately, it's this myth that may keep you in search mode on a continual basis.

Setting Realistic Expectations

The hidden gem myth holds that you, and you alone, are going to discover an ideal property other buyers haven't noticed. Unfortunately, if you're looking in markets that are popular, you can bet on one fact: the properties for sale in that area have been considered by other buyers. Setting realistic expectations is one way to overcome that myth. You likely already have a given price range. Define the features that homes within that price range typically have so you know what to expect when you look at each one. More than that, though, you want to keep in mind that every home (even if it's new) may have some issues that you don't love. It might be a paint colour in the living room you don't like or a garden area that's a bit small. Approach the process with an understanding that the house you eventually choose may mean dealing with a feature or two you don't like. Your best bet is to decide what you must have in a home and what may be an added perk. Remember to work with your partner on this list to ensure you both come up with choices that you're ready to buy when you see them.

Don't Wait!

The worst thing you can do is wait until you come across that hidden gem. Inventory is quite low these days, and in many cases, multiple offers are becoming more common than ever. Passing on a home the first time you see it could mean you don't have another opportunity. To see any of the homes listed on our site, please contact us today. 

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