From Dennis and Jane Guertin | Guertin Family Realty | (952) 442-1300 |
Would you like to add a few dollars to your home's bottom line this year? Whether the goal is a faster sale or just a more enjoyable place to live, here are some tips on how to increase your home's value.
Dennis and Jane Guertin
(952) 442-1300 Direct

5 Ways to Boost Your Home's Value

1. Add natural light.

People love homes with abundant natural light. Granted, if parts of your home already get blasted by afternoon sun it might be necessary to take steps to keep those rooms from becoming ovens; however, a far more common situation is for potential buyers to pass up a home because it's too dark.

-> Install a skylight or solar tube. Keep in mind the angle of the sun. North-facing skylights tend to provide diffuse light all day long, whereas south-facing ones can sometimes overheat rooms, according to this HGTV article. Solar tubes generally cost less and work well in hallways and small rooms where a traditional skylight won't fit. Velux and Solatube are two popular brands
Cost: Starts at around $500 for a solar tube or the simplest skylight installation. Closer to the $1,500 range and up for installations that require drywalling a skylight tunnel.

-> Install a window. If privacy or a non-optimal view is an issue, consider a glass block window.
Cost: Starts at around $500.

2. Create an outdoor living area.

It's amazing how even a simple covered sitting area on a balcony or patio can increase a home's appeal. By demonstrating that exterior space can be used for relaxing and entertaining you are increasing your home's perceived living area as well. Even improvements as simple as the patio set and shade sail pictured below immediately open up new possibilities in terms of how a home can be enjoyed.

Cost: Runs the gamut from negligible to many tens of thousands of dollars, depending on how extensive the design is. Here are a few ideas:

Shade sails: Roughly $70 to $300, including the parts needed for installation.
Gas firepits: From under $100 to around $6,000.
Patio sets: From around $100 to unbelievably expensive. :)
Stainless steel outdoor grills: From around $600 to over $10,000.

3. Open up interior spaces.

The open floor plan trend is still going strong, especially when it comes to the kitchen and family room areas. While opening up a floor plan sometimes requires a substantial remodel, simpler options can also work wonders.

-> Turn a full wall into a half wall. This isn't an option for every home, but when it is you'll usually see a big improvement in flow and natural light.
Cost: Starts at around $600. More if electrical or venting features are involved. (Always make sure a wall is not load-bearing first.)

-> De-clutter and/or rearrange. Again, this doesn't apply in all cases, but many floor plans would appear larger and more open if some non-essential furniture or decor were rearranged or removed.
Cost: None, unless you hire a consultant or have to bribe friends to help shuffle furniture around.

4. Repaint with new colors.

One of the fastest, least expensive ways to rejuvenate a home's interior is by giving it a fresh coat of interior paint.

-> Go for updated colors. If the primary goal is good resale value you'll need to play it somewhat safe, which probably means saying no to "Rose Quartz" even though it was one of Pantone's Colors of the Year. Below is a snapshot of part of Benjamin Moore's 2016 color trends palette; click on the image or on the link to see the complete line-up.

-> Switch from cool undertones to warm. Regardless of trends, warm colors make people feel welcomed, which is a huge plus when you're selling a home. Be sure to compare similar paint swatches next to each other in order to detect subtle undertones of blue, green, or pink that can turn your warm colors into cool ones.
Cost: Starts at around $150 if you do one or two rooms yourself.

Tip: Kilim Beige by Sherwin Williams is an excellent sale-friendly choice for many homes. You can always ask the paint store to mix a half or three-quarter shade of a good color like this one if you need something slightly lighter.

5. Maximize curb appeal.

What impression do visitors get as they approach your home? On a subconscious level your home's exterior appearance may affect you in the same way, so when curb appeal is maximized everyone benefits.

-> Paint or replace the front door. This creates a clean, fresh environment for potential buyers who usually have time to look around and notice details while they wait for the front door to be opened. Use contrasting colors to desirably highlight your home's entrance, as shown in this photo.
Cost: Painting a door yourself could cost under $100, although it's not always simple because glossy paint shows errors easily. Low-end exterior doors start at around $300, and many popular models cost between $1,000 and $3,000.

-> Add exterior plants. Work with plant sizes, shapes, and colors to create visual interest that guides people to your home. Even just framing a doorway with some potted plants can make a huge difference.
Cost: Starts at under $100 for plants. Extensive landscaping can easily run into the thousands.

Are you thinking of making any of these changes to your home in the near future? If so, please click "Reply" to this email and ask for recommendations specific to your home.

Recent Market Highlights
Market chart icon

- U.S. home prices rose 5.4 percent year-to-year in January, according to a recent S&P/Case-Shiller report. They rose 6.8 percent year-to-year in February, according to CoreLogic, a data and analytics company.

- The national average 30-year fixed mortgage rate is under 4 percent.

The February Pending Home Sales Index rose .7 percent year-to-year, according to the National Association of Realtors®.
Contact Us for Market Information
Are you curious about your home's current market value, or do you have a question about home buying? Just reply to this email, or call us at 952-442-1300.
View Our Featured Home Listings
Links that Make Life Easier

Sometimes real estate-related, sometimes not... these are assorted links that come in handy:

Extremely Green Gardening
A seasonal guide to organic gardening techniques, along with plenty of other information about eco-friendly pest control and lawn care.

Outdoor Patio Design Ideas at
A great way to get ideas for outdoor living space plans.

Retail Me Not
Before you check out of any online store, visit Retail Me Not to see if there's a coupon code that will give you a discount.

A Guide to Repotting Houseplants
This helpful article dispels some myths and provides useful 'what not to do' tips.

Mother's Day Recipes and Menus
From quiche to scones to sandwiches, it's a gallery of special Mother's Day treats from the Martha Stewart website.

The Lighter Side

If you could use a relaxing break, check out this great video of senior dog Luna and owner Alex on a typical day surfing and skateboarding in Hawaii - it's a refresing dose of Aloha spirit.

screenshot and link to video
Screenshot courtesy of Video by Jonathan Keao.

Click here or on the image to watch the video on the Little Things website.

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Your Resource for Real Estate
Are you thinking of buying or selling a home in the next year, or could you use some remodeling advice? Even if you just need the name of a good service provider, please remember that we're always here to help you. We welcome the opportunity to serve you, your friends and associates with our expertise and recommendations.

Please give us a call today at (952) 442-1300 if we can be of assistance!
Have a great day,

Dennis and Jane Guertin
Broker/Owner, REALTOR®, CRS, SFR, CBR, e-PRO, GRI, BA
Guertin Family Realty

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Guertin Family Realty | 71 Point Drive | Waconia | MN | 55387