How to Sell Washington DC Real Estate Quickly

Filed Under: Washington DC Real Estate    by: Steve Kayhill

Selling your home in today’s marketplace can be challenging. With the right approach you can sell Washington DC real estate quickly and for a reasonable profit. Follow these simple steps to ensure your property comes up on the wish list for multiple buyers.

Step One – Get Professionals On Your Side

You’ll need to hire an experienced Washington DC realtor to attract qualified buyers, conduct your transaction and answer your questions along the way. Ask for recommendations and opt for a real estate agent with proven expertise and a personable, yet professional nature.

Besides hiring a realtor, it may also be a good idea to bring in your own home inspector. Getting the jump on this process allows you to correct any issues before the house goes up for sale. Taking care of repairs and maintenance is critical to a quick sale. But you should also be aware that if the inspector uncovers a problem you are unable to fix, you may be required to disclose that information to prospective buyers.

Step Two – Set a Reasonable Price

Taking into account the advice of your real estate agent, the market conditions and your own financial needs, now is the time to come up with a reasonable price tag. Remember that your property will be measured against others within your Washington DC neighborhood, so price the listing accordingly.

Consider any potential hesitations that buyers may have about your home. Is it a little cramped or in need of updating? Is the location inconvenient to public transport or on a busy thoroughfare? You need to set the price with these conditions in mind, thinking like a buyer and emotionally detaching yourself from your home.

Step Three – Clean Out and Home Staging

Once you have hired an agent to list your Washington DC real estate, taken care of anything your home inspector uncovered and set a reasonable price, it’s time to get the property ready. Starting from the inside and moving all the way out to the yard, you need to clean out most of your personal items and make the property shine.

Repaint rooms in neutral colors, clear away clutter and clean out your closets. Rent a storage unit to hold your out of season clothing, seasonal equipment and other unnecessary items. Many professionals recommend removing some of your personal photos and other knick-knacks. This allows potential buyers to easily envision their own family in the home, rather than feeling like a visitor in yours.

Cut the grass and have the garden cleaned up as well, to create an attractive first impression. Wash the siding and clean the windows for maximum visual impact for all visitors, whether they attend an open house or come by for a private showing. The outside of your home is just as important as the inside – tidy up the yard, even when selling your home in the winter.

By following these three easy steps, you can expect to sell your Washington DC real estate quickly. Hire professionals to help you out, set a good price and clean up the property for potential buyers. Your hard work will surely pay off.

How To Replace Your Aging Virginia Deck and Revitalize Your Backyard

Filed Under: Deck    by: Steve Kayhill

replace-virginia-deckMaybe you’ve moved into a new Virginia home and need to replace the aging deck. Or perhaps you’ve been saving your pennies and now it’s time to renovate your existing Virginia deck, transforming it into the outdoor living space you’ve always wanted. Whatever the reason, deck renovations and replacements bring their own sets of unique challenges to the backyard.

Does Your Existing Deck Need to Be Removed?

Deck extensions can be added to the existing structure, but only if the framing and posts are sound and stable. Does the existing framing meet local building codes, including spacing and size of the framing lumber? Are the posts concreted into the ground or secured to concrete piers to resist heaving and movement during the winter months?

If you’re not confident that the existing framing and posts are safe and solid, it’s better to plan for a complete removal and start fresh.

Deck Removal Basics

The ledger board is attached to the house and runs the width of your Virginia deck. In order to remove this vital piece of structural framing you’ll need to rip off the deck boards and either cut off or remove the fasteners.

Posts can be cut off at ground level, with the concrete either left in the ground and covered or completely removed. Be very careful when dismantling walkout decks and any deck surface that’s more than a few feet off of the ground. It’s best to trust a contractor for that job, and contact experienced installers who can safely take down decks of any height.

Haul the old decking material away or donate it to a local used building supply store. Treated lumber cannot be burned, due to harmful chemicals in the wood. Your contractor will need to charge for both removal and haulage, so be sure to account for those additional fees in your budget.

Designing a New Virginia Deck

Whether you have removed the existing deck or are extending it, you’ll need to sit down with a decking contractor and design the ideal space for your family. Consider new low maintenance materials like composite decking or vinyl decking. These products come in a variety of colors and textures, often providing the look of real wood without the fuss of staining.

Think about new products available for your railing as well. Tempered glass provides a clear view and optimum safety, although it’s not easy to install these panels down your deck stairs. How about installing an aluminum frame around the glass railing, and opting for aluminum picket down the stairs? This type of combo provides a sleek look to your new deck, and aluminum is an excellent maintenance-free solution.

Remember to design big. Many homeowners complain about their decks being too small – design your new deck to provide all of the space your family needs. Include multiple layers, landings and features that help to create privacy. Overhead structures provide shade and taller, more solid railings can block the wind and help make the space more private.

Work within your budget and have a professional contractor design the best Virginia deck for your property. This is the year to say goodbye to your existing backyard space and plan for a revitalized, ultra comfortable outdoor living space with your new deck or deck extension.

How To Choose the Best Replacement Windows Virginia Contractors Have to Offer

Filed Under: Windows    by: Steve Kayhill

best-replacement_windows_virginiaReplacing your aging windows will reduce your heating and cooling bills, increase the value of your home and improve your home’s appearance. Knowing how to choose the best replacement windows Virginia contractors have to offer will ensure your home improvement project delivers the highest value. Different brands, unique designs and varying installation methods are available, and all of these factors affect the total cost.

Understand Your Needs

You’ll discover a wide variety of replacement windows on the market, from high end composite windows to budget-friendly vinyl replacement windows. Virginia homeowners need to understand the advantages of each type, and align those advantages with their own needs to find the best windows for their home.

There are a few key factors that determine your unique needs, including:

  • Budget – always an important part of any home improvement project, your budget will significantly narrow down the playing field.
  • Architecture – the style of your home dictates the best style of window, although many styles are available in various materials and structural design.
  • Climate or Exposure – seasons in Northern Virginia require double or triple glazed windows to help maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home, but not all homes will benefit in the same way from high end windows.
  • Future Plans – if you’re planning on moving within five years, it’s not a good idea to invest in expensive, high end windows that will not necessarily deliver a great return on investment over that period. Consider a cheaper alternative when your short to mid-term future plans include moving.
  • Installation Contractor – the scope of your Virginia replacement windows project, and the location of your property, will determine which contractor to hire. Beware of handyman companies that don’t offer the expertise and insurance coverage required for a replacement window project.

Book Estimates

Ask your friends and family for referrals, and check the local listings to find Virginia replacement windows installers. Call a few different contractors and arrange for in-home estimates. They’ll need to physically visit your home to assess the conditions and accurately estimate the cost for removal and replacement.

Make sure you receive a written estimate and obtain a list of references from each contractor under consideration. If you find a big discrepancy in the prices, call in a few more contractors to better gauge the industry.

Ask Questions

Write down a list of questions to ask your contractor, covering vital details like their installation process, scheduling, and payment structure. Don’t assume that the initial quotes will include all of your alternatives. It’s often up to the customer to inquire about the wide range of replacement windows Virginia contractors are offering.

Find out the differences between distinct brands and designs. Ask about the contractor ‘s recommendations and then compare that advice to the recommendations given by other professionals. Be diligent in gathering information while always keeping your specific situation in mind (your budget, architecture, exposure and future plans).

You can choose the best replacement windows Virginia contractors have to offer, as long as those windows suit your own circumstances. What’s best for your neighbor or family member may not be best for your home, and a professional replacement window installer can show you the difference.