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January
23

Basement Upgrades

One of the biggest goals people make in the new year is to do some work/remodeling on their home. For instance, your basement. Right now, you're just using it to store old boxes and things you can't think of anywhere else to put. Wouldn't it be nice if you could turn it into something fun or functional for your home? Here are a few ideas for your basement this year.

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January
9

Painting Tips

Painting, whether it's indoors or out, is a great way to give your home a fresh new look. While it's relatively easy and inexpensive to update your home with paint, there are some pitfalls you'll need to pay attention to. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for avoiding common painting issues.

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December
5

Winter Landscaping

The weather is getting colder, and winter will be here before you know it. Landscaping may not be the first thing you think of doing this season. But in fact, you can tackle plenty of landscaping projects in the winter months. If you recently moved into a new home and have been working to improve the landscape, you don't have to quit as winter rolls in. Here are some winter landscaping projects our real estate agents recommend for a more beautiful facade all year long.

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November
28

Home Improvement Tips

Was your New Year's resolution for 2022 to get more done around the house? The year may be almost over, but that doesn't mean you're out of time. Here are some quick and easy indoor home improvement projects, perfect for this time of year. Refresh your home's appearance just in time for the holidays with these project ideas from our real estate agents.

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November
14

Lake House

With winter almost upon us, it's time to start thinking about winterizing your property. If you have a lake house or a vacation house, don't overlook it. It's even more important to pay attention to winterizing if you're not going to be using the house over the winter. Here are a few tips from our real estate agents for getting your lake house ready for cold weather.

  1. Clean Your Gutters
    The exterior of the house is what gets hit with winter weather the most, and your gutters are more crucial than you may realize. Clogged gutters will prevent water from draining properly off your roof. Roof shingles and siding are designed to keep water flowing away from your house, but if your gutters are clogged with debris, water can get in underneath the shingles and siding and cause damage. Cleaning your gutters of fallen leaves and other debris before you leave the lake house for the last time this fall can prevent any damage from happening in your absence over the winter.

  2. Check the Roof for Damage
    While you're up there to clean the gutters, be sure to give the roof a once-over. Look for damaged or missing shingles. Also, keep an eye on the trim and siding for signs of leaks that have already started. Any soft or rotten wood should be replaced now before winter kicks in.

  3. Disable Your Sprinkler System
    If your lake house has a sprinkler system in the yard or garden, be sure to have it blown out to clear all the water from the lines before winter sets in. Leaving water in the lines can cause frozen and burst pipes, which will leak once they thaw again. The result could be disastrous and expensive, especially if the leak goes unnoticed for a while due to the house being empty.

  4. Seal Around Windows and Doors
    Whether you plan to use your lake house in the winter or not, it's a good idea to check for and eliminate drafts. Check around all your window and door frames for cracks or drafts. If you can see daylight through any gaps, the space needs to be sealed. Gaps between the door or window and the frame can be sealed with weatherstripping. If there are cracks between the wall and frame, seal those with caulking.

  5. Check Pipes and Insulation
    Before shutting the house up for the season, or even if you plan to use the lake house in the winter, be sure to make a thorough check of all your pipes. Check to make sure you have no leaks, either in visible plumbing or detected from moisture damage to the walls, ceiling, or floor. Especially if you plan to leave the house shut up for the season, the last thing you want is to come back to a flooded mess in the spring. Also, be sure to check any exterior pipes to ensure they've been insulated properly so that they won't freeze over the winter.

  6. Set the Thermostat for Winter
    If you leave the furnace running in the winter to prevent the pipes in your lake house from freezing and bursting while there is no one there, you will probably want to set the thermostat to the lowest possible temperature. No sense in using more energy than needed to heat an empty house! To keep an eye on your home's heat while you're away, consider getting a smart thermostat where you can have the temperature available on an app. This can help give your peace of mind while you are away from your lake house.

  7. Tidy Up
    Before leaving your lake house for the season, be sure to clean everything and tidy up the yard one more time. Not only will a clean house be nicer to come back to in the spring, but you may also save yourself some trouble by doing these tasks now. For instance, be sure to remove any stains from the carpet before you leave so that they don't set over the winter and become harder to clean in the spring. Also, be sure to rake up all the fallen leaves in your yard and mow the lawn one more time if needed. Leaving debris covering the grass over the winter can damage your lawn.

It's important to winterize your property properly so that it remains a relaxing retreat to return to when the weather warms up. Ready to sell your lake house, trade up, or simply looking for something new? Contact us today, and we'll help you find the perfect home away from home.

October
24

Tuscan Decor

In a recent survey, the most popular decorating trend for homes in Maine, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, is Tuscan decor. The rustic, Italian look and Old World style can add a lot of charm to a space. If you've just bought a new home and are looking for a decor style that will make it seem homey and welcoming, Tuscan is a great option. Here are some Tuscan design elements you can incorporate into your space.

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September
6

garage storage space

If it feels like your home lacks ample storage, turn to your garage. The garage is a frequently underutilized space that can significantly increase your home's usable storage.

Our real estate agents recommend following these tips to help you maximize and showcase your garage's storage space. 

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August
15

Water Softener Tips

If your home has hard water, a water softener is an excellent addition to your property to help you reduce your water consumption, enhance the quality of your water, and get your dishes and clothes as clean as possible.

Like any system, a water softener needs periodic attention to function properly. Our real estate agents suggest following these maintenance tips to prolong the lifespan of your water softener and maximize its performance. 

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August
1

Front Yard Tips

You only get one chance to make a good first impression. The same holds true when it comes to selling your home. 

Your front yard is at the center of your home's curb appeal, which is a term used to describe how your home appears from the street. If you think about it, your front yard is the first thing people see when pulling up to your home. It's clearly visible to visitors, anyone who drives by, Google Maps, and most importantly, potential buyers who are thinking about scheduling a tour of your listing. 

As a result, our real estate agents always recommend giving your front yard a bit of extra love before listing your home on the market. Luckily, there are many easy and affordable ways to improve your yard this summer. If you want to make your yard stand out, we have a list of ideas for you:

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July
18

In-law suite

With more generations living under one roof, in-law suites have become popular home features. This type of space provides a separate living area for one or more older parents of an adult child, and it can be configured in many ways, including as a free-standing building or a converted garage. Not only can an in-law suite help a parent live somewhat independently, but it can also serve as a residence for an older child, a home office, or a guest house if needed. As a result, our real estate agents point out, this flexible space can help increase the value of your home when it's time to sell.

Before you start planning an in-law suite, make sure to check any local laws or regulations that might affect your plans. Once you know what - if anything - is prohibited, you'll need to thoughtfully plan the space. The following are some of the best features you can add to your in-law suite to make it safe, comfortable, and practical:

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