Articles Tagged "Home Improvement"

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Uncategorized | 10 Posts
Holland, MI | 5 Posts
Home ideas | 2 Posts
West Michigan | 5 Posts
July
18

Hard Water Can Damage Your Home: Here's How To Address It

It's not always easy to inspect your plumbing. Here's how you can ensure hard water won't ruin your pipes and appliances.

Did you know hard water can negatively impact your home over time? While it's safe to drink, hard water can lead to many interior problems, which is why our real estate agents recommend addressing it as soon as possible. Hard water is common across much of the US, especially in the Midwest. As a result, it's an issue most homeowners have to contend with. Below, we'll tell you all about hard water and share some simple solutions for treating it in your home

What Is Hard Water?
While most water contains minerals, hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. Water accumulates high levels of these two minerals when it streams through deposits of limestone or chalk.  It's usually easy to tell if you have hard water as it often leaves a chalky film on your dishes, or it can even have a strong taste or odor. However, there are also inexpensive hard water test kits available that can tell you for sure.

How Can Hard Water Affect Your Home?
The effects of hard water range from short-term mild inconveniences to significant long-term damage. In any case, it's a good idea to address the issue right away. Here are some examples of the effects hard water can have in your home:

  • Taste And Odor - Hard water often smells bad (like a rotten egg) and has a metallic taste.
  • Residue - It can leave a white residue on your dishes that is difficult to remove, and it can also leave water stains on your sink, bathtub, and toilet.
  • Dry Skin - It makes your skin feel extra dry after you wash your hands and take a shower.
  • Laundry Issues - It can make your clothes feel stiff, and it can dull or fade colors.
  • Plumbing Problems - It can lead to build-up or corrosion in your pipes, which can ultimately result in lower water pressure
  • Poor Appliance Performance - It can affect the overall performance and energy efficiency of water-based appliances such as water heaters, washing machines, and dishwashers.

How Do I Treat Hard Water?
The easiest and most common way to treat hard water is with a water softener or filtration system. Some of these systems use negatively charged magnetic beads to collect calcium and magnesium particles while simultaneously allowing water to flow through. Other systems filter out calcium and magnesium from your water while pumping in sodium ions. The later types come with a separate salt tank, and the salt needs refilling periodically; however, the good news is water softener salt is usually inexpensive.

Once the process is complete, the water then flows out of the filtration system and into your home's plumbing. Water softeners range in price, but purchase and installation are usually around $1,500 on average. However, many of these gorgeous Holland homes for sale are already equipped with a water softener.

Eliminating hard water from your house can help you avoid unwanted water stains, unhealthy skin, and plumbing and appliance issues. It's definitely worth the investment. For more home maintenance tips, contact us today.

March
21

Boost Your Home's Value With These Fixes

Your home is usually your largest investment. Here's how you can make sure it holds its value.

Your house isn't just a place to live, it's also a major investment and vehicle for accumulating wealth. While homes generally appreciate over time if you keep them in good shape, there are also things you can do to help generate an extra return when it comes time to sell. At the end of the day, investing in a more livable home is the best way to boost your sale price.

Here are some top recommendations from our real estate agents to maximize your home value:

  • Focus On Curb Appeal
    The view of your home from the street is so important when it comes to selling because it's usually front and center in your listing photo. Good curb appeal is critical for garnering online attention, but it's also the first thing buyers see when they pull up to the home. Simple things like painting the front door, installing a new mailbox, and keeping up with lawn care are all great ways to keep your curb appeal top-notch. Some of our favorite Grand Haven homes for sale have stunning curb appeal!

  • Focus On Energy Efficiency
    Green living is an important characteristic for buyers today, so energy-efficient features are a must. You don't have to install solar panels to make your home energy efficient — there are many simple things you can do, including:
    • Install a smart thermostat to optimize heating and cooling costs.
    • Reapply caulking around your windows.
    • Replace incandescent bulbs.
    • Invest in double-pane windows for extra insulation
    • Install ceiling fans in bedrooms and living rooms to minimize cooling costs.

  • Fix-up Your Kitchen and Bathrooms
    If you're planning a remodel or a major renovation, prioritize the kitchen and bathroom over other areas of the house. These are often the two most important rooms when it comes to attracting buyers. Installing new flooring, lighting, sinks, or counters in the kitchen and bathroom are often considered to be some of the best ways to improve home value. Need some inspiration? Check out some of the beautiful kitchens in these Hudsonville homes for sale.

  • Finish The Basement
    An unfinished basement presents an excellent opportunity to unlock additional value in your property. Buyers seek finished basements to serve as game rooms, dens, extra living rooms, or even home offices. Make upgrading unfinished basement space a top priority.

  • Upgrade The Major Appliances
    Buyers don't want to worry about making major replacements or upgrades shortly after moving in. Furnaces and hot water heaters typically last 10 to 15 years, so if yours is reaching the end of its lifespan, it might be worth upgrading prior to listing your home. Convincing buyers they won't need to worry about major fixes for years to come can really help increase the home's appeal.

  • Take Care Of The Roof
    An aging roof comes with an expensive price tag, and this could quickly turn off buyers. You may want to consider a roof replacement prior to listing your home. However, depending on the cost — it can be difficult to recover your entire investment. At a minimum, make sure to take care of any cracked, missing, or warped shingles that may be leading to leaks in the attic.

When thinking of what repairs and upgrades can drive value, put yourself in the shoes of a buyer. Try to imagine what would make your home more comfortable, liveable, and convenient. Contact us today for more home improvement tips.

January
17

Home Improvement Resolutions You Can Start Today

If you're looking for ways to upgrade your home in the new year, add these resolutions to your list.

2022 is finally here and many of us are thinking about what home renovations we'll be making this year. Home improvements make for great New Year resolutions because they not only provide a sense of personal achievement but also benefit you financially in the long run.

The tricky part about planning home improvements is it's often difficult to know where to start. If you're looking for some ideas to start your year off right, here are some recommendations from our real estate agents:

  • Declutter One Room A Month
    Decluttering can have a positive impact on mental health; however, it can also be a massive undertaking. For many people,  the job can seem too large to handle. This often leads people to lose motivation partway through. Instead of tackling the project all at once, make it an effort to declutter one room each month. This will help you break things down into more attainable goals.

  • Focus On Curb Appeal
    Curb appeal is a term that describes how your home appears from the street. Enhancing curb appeal is especially important if you want to make your property stand out among these Holland homes for sale. It can also drastically increase your home value.

    To improve curb appeal, consider painting your front door, cleaning your siding, improving your landscaping, or even purchasing a new mailbox. By taking these simple steps, your home will stand out in no time.

  • Increase Energy Efficiency
    Making your home more green not only benefits the planet but also can decrease utility bills. Going green doesn't necessarily mean investing in solar panels — there are so many simple ways to improve your home's energy efficiency. Install ceiling fans, invest in double-pane windows, and reapply caulking and sealant. You can also evaluate your insulation and make sure to tackle any overdue roof repairs, which may be allowing warm or cool air to escape. A programmable thermostat is also a great way to improve energy efficiency.

  • Create Your Home Office
    Many of us have been working from home since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic; however, if you're still setting up your laptop at your dining room table, it's time to start thinking about your home office.

    Even if you don't have an extra bedroom, there are many places you can build a home office. If you have unused space under the stairs, in the corner of the basement, or in the upstairs hallway, these could all be suitable options. Just invest in a desk that fits and matches the space, a comfortable chair, and some basic office decor. Remember, home offices are critical selling points these days.

  • Enhance Your Outdoor Space
    Make 2022 the year you create your outdoor paradise. Enhance your porch or patio with new furniture, rugs, and mood lighting. Perhaps invest in a new grill or outdoor table, so you can be prepared to entertain company when warm weather arrives.

  • Update Your Kitchen
    The kitchen is often considered the most important room of the house when it comes to home value. If your kitchen is long overdue for an upgrade, 2022 is the year to get it done. Invest in new matching appliances, apply a new coat of paint, update your lighting fixtures, and perhaps invest in a new kitchen table. If you're thinking about adding a new color scheme, check out the Behr or Benjamin Moore  2022 Colors of The Year

Contact us today for more home improvement recommendations!

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