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Blog :: 05-2020

The best resource for information about real estate, our local area, and current topics that impact you.

Read our blog for household tips, tricks, home improvement, buying/selling tips, DIY, and so much more!

If there is anything you'd like to see us write about, let us know!

8 Affordable Ways to Make Your Home More Attractive to Buyers

Affordable Ways to Make your Home More Attractive to Buyers

You might be thinking - how can I sell my home faster? While staged homes usually sell much faster, staging can be costly. Instead of spending a ton of money on expensive updates and professional staging, check out these 8 affordable ways to make your home more attractive to potential buyers. If a home is more attractive to buyers, that means a quicker sell! 

1. Repaint

A fresh coat of paint on the walls, doors, and trim can make your home feel new, clean and well-maintained - things buyer's look for in a home! Even more, a newly painted interior is something your real estate will put in the listing description to help attract more buyers from the start.

And don't forget about the outside - we're not talking about repainting the whole exterior yourself, but a fresh coat of paint on the front door can do wonders!

Repaint

2. Update Cabinet Hardware, Lights, & Fixtures

New hardware can be a game-changer in kitchens & bathrooms, and even better, it's an affordable fix! Also, adding new light fixtures (pendants, chandeliers, wall mounts, etc) can make a home feel updated and inviting. You can find affordable hardware & fixtures on WayFair.com & at Home Depot!

Kitchen Hardware

 

3. Clean & Declutter

This is FREE (if you do it yourself)! Cleaning your own home will save you money, and will help make a good first impression with potential buyers. You also must declutter! When potential buyers see your home, they don't want to see "stuff" everywhere. They want to see open, clean, tidy spaces and rooms they can picture their own things in!

Declutter by taking down and storing away your personal items, including (but not limited to):

  • Family photos
  • Children's artwork and toys
  • Toiletries left on bathroom counters, bedside tables, and dressers
  • Piles of papers left in kitchens, office spaces, (and anywhere else!)
  • Messy wardrobes, clothes, & shoes - a good time to clean out the closet and donate clothes you don't want or need anymore!

While you're decluttering, also start organizing and storing things away - this will help with your own move! If you feel like you don't have enough space to store all your things out of sight, consider renting a storage unit. Small storage units have affordable monthly rates and can help you clear out your home without stuffing everything in closets, garages, and basements!

 

4. Spruce up the outside

Let's face it, curb appeal matters! When buyers pull up to your house, they want to see a clean exterior. Make sure you mow the lawn regularly, and ensure the yard is clean and free of debris, weeds, and unsightly brush! There are some very affordable trimmers at Home Depot for those who want to take the extra step in making the exterior look great!

Adding a few plants and pops of color (flowers) can also go a long way! It's always ideal to get a good first impression from potential buyers.

Porch

 

5. Power Wash!

We all know what a good power wash can do! Make your outdoor areas look new again by power washing decks, porches, siding, sheds, walkways, driveways, etc. This will add to the home's curb appeal and make a good first impression with potential buyers! And let's be honest, power washing can be fun, right?!

Power Washing

 

6. Bring the outside, inside!

Adding plants inside can help make a home feel "staged" and more inviting. It's also extremely trendy to have air-purifying plants inside your home these days, so plants will make potential buyers feel comfortable and homey.

If you don't want to take care of a bunch of plants, choose easy-to-maintain, resilient plants like succulents, spider plants, snake plants, or fig trees. 

Succulents

7. Hang Mirrors

Mirrors make rooms feel bigger! Placing mirrors strategically in your home (especially in smaller rooms) can make the room feel much more spacious.

Hang bigger mirrors on large, empty walls, and add a few smaller accent mirrors for show! You can find very affordable mirrors and accent mirrors at Marshall's, HomeGoods, or TJ MAXX.

   

 

8. Do-It-Yourself Staging!

Professional staging can be costly, but that doesn't mean you can't make your home look great! Check out these affordable DIY staging tips you can do on your own:

  • Rearrange your furniture to show SPACE
  • Open widow treatments & blinds to show as much natural light as possible
  • Place succulents and smaller plants in bathrooms and on shelves and bedside tables
  • Place herbs in the kitchen, fruit basket, & a few other decor items (store away any unsightly coffee machines, microwaves, toaster ovens, etc)
  • Clear your personal things and only keep decor - think about your home as a display!
  • Repaint old bathroom vanities (and you can even paint bathroom tile for an additional wow factor!) - Check out this before and after bathroom update - no professionals needed:

DIY Staging

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Our Favorite Outdoor Activities in New Hampshire!

Our Favorite Activities In and Around Concord, New Hampshire

There are so many great places to explore in and around the Concord, NH area! We put together a list of our favorite outdoor activities in New Hampshire and a few details about why we love them!

Check out our agents' favorite local outdoor activities in Concord, New Hampshire:

(Scroll to the end for a complete list)

 

 Paul Hrycuna Keeler Family Realtors Owner

Paul's Favorites:

"The Flume Gorge is one of my favorite places. It's a beautiful place to take a nice & easy hike. "

"I also love the Franklin Dam, as it's very close to Concord, is a great place to walk, and has a few nice trails!"

"There are also many beautiful, longer hiking trails in Andover, NH. There's too many to mention, but if you google 'trails in Andover, NH', you'll find many amazing trails (like the photo below)!"

Ragged Mountain Trails - Andover, NH

 

 

 

David Lovlien KFR Agent

David's Favorites:

"The State House is a place where I can reflect in the exact same places as people like Daniel Webster and Franklin Pierce. Being in this historic and influential place inspires me and reminds me where I am from and where I will go!" 

"I like visiting Memorial Field on Independence Day because I often meet up with old friends from Merrimack Valley High School and we watch the fireworks together. I think it's really great that the celebration of our countries birth and the beautiful fireworks bring the whole Concord community together!"

 

Terry Murphy Keeler Family Realtor

Terry's Favorites:

"Our favorite outdoor activities are Oak Hill Trails in Concord, the Belknap Mountain Range, and definitely boating on Lake Winnipesaukee!"

 

 

 

KFR Agent Jocelyn Therrien

Jocelyn's Favorites:

"I love to kayak in Turkey Pond in Concord, NH. "

"And I love Oak Hill. It's also in Concord and has nice, easy hiking and walking trails! "

Jeff Tobine Keeler Family Realtor

Jeff's Favorites:

"Any golf course in Concord is great and I love playing around all the courses in New Hampshire in general!"

"Kearsarge Mountain is also a favorite hiking spot!"

"And one of my favorite spots was the Smarts Brook trail in Thornton/Waterville Valley on Route 49."

Complete List of Our Favorite Outdoor Spots & Activities:

Flume Gorge

Franklin Dam

All Trails in Andover, NH

State House in Concord, NH

Memorial Field

Belknap Mountain Range

Lake Winnipesaukee

Turkey Pond - Concord, NH

Oak Hill Trails - Concord, NH

Kearsarge Mountain

Smart Brooks Trail  in Thornton/Waterville Valley

Beaver Meadow Golf Course - Concord, NH

 

Best Restaurants in Concord, New Hampshire!

 

BEST Restaurants in Concord, New Hampshire

Concord New Hampshire

Our agents love Concord and all this beautiful city has to offer! One of the best things about Concord is that there are endless places to eat. For those who just moved to Concord, or if you're just visiting, we put together a list of our favorite local restaurants. Many places have re-opened their doors, while others are still offering take out, so support your community and eat local!

Check out our agents' favorite local restaurants in Concord, New Hampshire:

(Scroll to the end for a complete list)

 

 Paul Hrycuna Keeler Family Realtors Owner

Paul's Favorites:

"My favorite restaurant is Veano's 1 (Pembroke location). This is technically in Pembroke, NH, but they have great food and it's definitely close enough to Concord if you're in the area!"

"My second favorite restaurant is Siam Orchid Thai Bistro. I love their yellow curry!" 

Terry Murphy Keeler Family Realtor

Terry's Favorites:

"Our favorite sit down restaurant is definitely Revival. It's fresh farm to table with great service, drinks, and always a quick turnover with fair pricing. It's great for the family!"

"If I'm looking for a quick lunch with a nice drink, I'll go to Dos Amigos. Always fresh ingredients with awesome service and pricing, and they even have seasonal homemade salsas!"

 

David Lovlien KFR Agent

David's Favorites:

"The Red Blazer is the home of my favorite Reuben sandwich. When my grandfather worked at the state house, he would always have meetings and lunch here. It makes me feel like I'm following in his footsteps!"

"Tandy's is another favorite. It's a super beautiful outdoor eating vibe right in the heart of eagle square in Concord. It has a fun & youthful vibe and the outdoor bar is very cool! It's a great place to have a fun outdoor meeting."

 

Lexi Keeler Family Realtor

Lexi's Favorites:

"Integrity Nutrition is one of my favorites. It's not a sit down restaurant, but it's a great place to get a shake or drink! Their menu is so good and they're super healthy."

"I also LOVE Angelina's Ristorante Italiano. They definitely have the best Italian food in Concord, hands down!"

"Last but not least, Constantly Pizza is the best sub shop in town."

KFR Agent Jocelyn Therrien

Jocelyn's Favorites:

"My favorite restaurant is House of India on Pleasant St. To me, their Indian food is the ultimate comfort food, the flavors are amazing, and they have tons of vegetarian options!"

"I also love Live Juice. It's my pick for a healthy lunch. They have huge portions, customizable salads, and juices and smoothies made with really fresh ingredients!"

Jeff Tobine Keeler Family Realtor

Jeff's Favorites:

"The Red Blazer is one of my favorites. It's great for the family and there's generous portions for everyone!"

"I also love The Common Man. It's a great atmosphere with great food, and there's even a nice gluten free section on the menu."

Complete List of All Our Agents Favorite Restaurants:

 

 

Veano's Italian Kitchen

Angelina's Ristorante

Siam Orchid Thai Bistro

House of India

Dos Amigos

Revival Kitchen

The Common Man

The Red Blazer

Tandy's Pub & Grill

Constantly Pizza

Integrity Nutrition

Live Juice

 

 

 

 

7 Real Estate Terms For Buyers & Sellers

As REALTORS®, we are often asked: What is a short sale? Should I buy a foreclosure? What is the MLS and why do I need to use it? So we put together a quick article to help you better understand some of these commonly-used real estate terms!

 

Check out the terms below for a quick definition and a few pros and cons:

1. SHORT SALE

A short sale is when the seller owes more on the mortgage than what the current market value is, or the sales price of the home when they are trying to sell. Short sales are sold for a price less than what is currently still owed on the mortgage by the previous owner. For sellers, a short sale is usually done to avoid a foreclosure.

Pros:

  • Sellers can avoid a foreclosure, while buyers can get a great deal on a home!
  • There is usually less competition with short sales than with foreclosures.

Cons:

  • Short sale purchases can be a lengthy process and involve more paperwork than a normal sale.
  • Special approval from lenders is required, adding to the lengthy process.
  • The property is most likely sold as-is, which may mean the house is not in great condition. 

 

2. FORECLOSURE

A foreclosure is a home that is that the previous owner defaulted on (stopped paying their mortgage) and the bank took possession of the property. Similar to how a car gets repossessed if someone stops making payments. These properties are often in a wide range of conditions and historically take more time to close on with banks, lenders, etc. While there are risks with purchasing a foreclosed home, there is also an opportunity to own a home for a very affordable price!

Pros:

  • Buyers can purchase below market value.
  • Banks often willing to give financing.
  • Higher return on your investment, as you re purchasing a home under market value
  • There may be an option to purchase in a "pre-foreclosure stage" - purchase from the seller at an affordable price, instead of the bank, before the bank reposesses the home. 

Cons:

  • Homes are sold As-Is, which can often mean the home has been neglected and not very well-maintained
  • Investors love foreclosures, so there can be a lot of competition for these types of properties in a desired area.
  • The process to purchase a foreclosure is usually a bit longer and requires more paperwork.

 

3. REVERSE MORTGAGE

A reverse mortgage is essentially a loan against the equity you've already built on your home. In other words, you can borrow from your home's equity. These types of mortgages are designated for the elderly who need cash, but do not want to, or cannot, sell their home. 

 

4. FOR SALE BY OWNER

7 Real Estate Terms For Buyers & Sellers

A for sale by owner is a property that is being sold by the owner, without a real estate agent. In this scenario, most people think they can save a lot of money by not using an agent. However, what sellers don't know is that there are a lot of costs associated with selling your home, and agents can actually save you a lot of money AND time. There are also a lot of risks for the seller and buyer as they take on liability and don't know the legalities involved.

Food for thought - would you show up to court to represent yourself after googling "how to practice law?"

 

5. A "COMP"

A comp is a home that is comparable to the specific property you're looking to buy.  Comps include recently sold homes that are in the surrounding area and are similar in size, layout, condition and features as the home you're trying to buy (or sell). Finding comps helps sellers price their home accurately, and it also gives buyers an idea of what a home for sale is worth. 

 

6. THE MLS

All REALTORS® use the MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, which is the database that provides information on properties for sale. Every property that is listed in the MLS is given its own identification number. When a listing has been uploaded into the MLS database, the MLS then shares its data (the listing) with EVERY real estate website that allows you to search its properties.

 

7. MLS NUMER

Ever wonder why almost every home that is listed by a REALTOR has an MLS number? Every property that is uploaded into the MLS is given its own identification number, or MLS number, to organize and identify properties. When a property/home is purchased/sold, that MLS number is then considered "used up".

 

So, what's the best website to use to search available properties?

This answer is easy, it’s www.Keelerfamily.com Keeler Family

In all seriousness, we are often asked what the best website is to search for available listings. In reality, all real estate websites use something called an IDX. Some IDX’s are better than others, but the IDX establishes a direct data connection between the MLS and the website using it. This allows you to search the MLS database on your website. It’s like using a search engine to help you sift through what you want to find on the Internet, but in this case, it's only properties.

Our IDX is ideal, and I like to consider keelerfamily.com the “GOOGLE” of real estate websites, but I could be bias!  

 

Paul Hrycuna

 

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