Monthly Archives: June 2016

Jun 18

Solar Energy?

By Antoinette Johnson | Uncategorized

Home buyers are showing high demand for solar energy homes, and they’re willing to pay a lot extra for homes that have them too.

In fact, a new study shows the average premium for homes with solar panels is an extra $14,329 to the sales price. That represents 3.74 percent more than the average sales price, according to a new study from The Appraisal Journal, a professional publication for appraisers.

More consumers have been investing in solar, and companies are making solar more in reach by even waiving upfront costs in some cases. For example, in 2014, SolarCity partnered with Bank of America Merrill Lynch to fund an estimated $400 million in solar power projects that year and in 2015. Home owners were able to install solar panels without paying any upfront costs. Other companies are allowing home owners to lease solar panels to waive the potential $35,000 installation investment.

Source: “Study: Home Values Increase When Solar Panels Get Installed,” HousingWire (March 29, 2016)

Jun 11

Pet Damage Repair 101

By Antoinette Johnson | Uncategorized

I know most of us all love our pets but they do sometimes leave their mark.  My two dogs Foxy and Bandit are a Labrador/German Shepherd mix so as I am sure you can imagine they are a handful.

Here are some tips that I have used and that you can use to freshen up your home before you decide to put it on the market. RISMedia recently spotlighted several things home owners can do to remove pet-related problems around the house.

Read more: The Power of Pets

Carpeting: This would be a good time to get the carpets professionally cleaned. But in the meantime, to wipe up any pet accidents right away, blot it with a paper towel and then apply a mixture of equal parts of water and vinegar to soak it up. If the stain is really bad, use pure vinegar, the article suggests. After the area has been soaked up, scrub hard to clean the carpet more deeply and leave a touch of baking soda until it dries. Then, vacuum the area.

Hardwood floors: For any pet odors absorbed on hardwood floors, be sure to handle gently as to not harm the wood. “Vinegar starts removing bad smells immediately,” notes writer Megan Wild, a blogger for Your Wild Home. “Alternatively, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can also do the trick. All three could weaken the sealant or cause bleaching if not applied carefully or if left too long, so don’t leave the area unattended.”

Leather furniture: Claw marks on leather furniture can look unsightly. To make the claw marks less visible, try applying white vinegar with a soft cloth. “The vinegar makes the leather swell, which may hide the marks,” Wild notes. Then, use leather polish, which will further help conceal the scratch marks. If the marks are more severe, you may need to get a leather repair kid, which includes a solution tinted with about the same color as the damaged material.

Source: “How to Repair Cat and Dog Damage Before Moving,” RISMedia (March 29, 2016)

Jun 04

4 Landscaping Mistakes

By Antoinette Johnson | Uncategorized

I recently posted an article about how to increase your homes curb appeal. This week I am going to write about 4 things to avoid doing when trying to prepare your home for potential buyers.

Good landscaping could potentially boost a home’s value anywhere from 6 percent up to 28 percent, according to a Clemson University study of homes in Greenville, S.C.

So that means a bad landscape design could potentially dent a home’s value by that much. And that isn’t chump change; it equates to potentially thousands in lost money just from poor curb appeal.® recently highlighted several do-it-yourself landscape disasters to avoid:

1. Huge Piles of Mulch: Don’t overdo it with the “mulch volcanoes” that pile high over the trunk of a tree. Mulch needs to be applied loosely. “Mulch mounds may look like the norm, but it’s a harmful practice,” says Michael Rittenhouse Rigby, an arborist in central Virginia.

2. Overplanting: Some home owners don’t think through their plantings before they start planting. The result? An overgrowth of plants that quickly become unruly. In general, tall plants should go in the back; small plants in front. Also, avoid planting too many large plants. They may have a tough time taking root. Small foliage, on the other hand, tends to have a better chance at survival.

3. Disrupting tree roots: If you end up expanding your home or garage, per se, make sure you maintain a sizable distance from any large trees in the yard or take special precautions to protect the tree’s roots. It can take awhile to see the damage of roots from large trees, but eventually it will show itself. Trees can be costly to remove or cause damage to your home if they fall. Hire a tree specialist prior to any construction projects in your yard.

4. Too much gravel: Just like mulch, you can quickly overdo it here. Landscaping with gravel can save water but it reflects heat and can potentially damage even the hardiest of plants, landscapers note. What’s more, gravel may get mixed into the underlying soil and then make it more difficult for plants to absorb rainwater. Use gravel cautiously.

View more landscaping mistakes at®.

Source: “6 Landscaping Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Yard,”® (March 29, 2016)