Andy Weiser Fort Lauderdale Realtor Blog

The Best Ways To Refresh Your Outdoor Space

The beauty of living in Fort Lauderdale is the impeccable weather all year round that you can enjoy right at home. Your outdoor space is an extension of your home’s square footage so make sure you are taking full advantage of it. The good news is that you can upgrade your existing patio for little money and time to give it a refresh. Here are some great ideas to consider.

Art

Consider adding a large piece of art that is outdoor friendly for some impact and interest. Choose something that is made of a solid material such as wood, metal fiberglass or resin and strategically place it out of direct sunlight so it can weather the elements.

Daybed

Select a shady corner of your patio for the perfect relaxing retreat with a daybed. Be sure to select one designed for the outdoors with weather-resistant cushions and pillows.

Potted Plants

Potted plants are the best for filling in your spaces between furniture or used to create privacy. You can select anything from colorful flowers to succulents to those with some height for privacy. Just keep in mind that these may require some extra watering as opposed to those in the beds in your yard. 

Privacy Screen

A landscape screen can work wonders for both adding interest while providing you with privacy. These can come in a variety of colors and materials for you to choose from. You can also have some plants grow along them for a living wall. 

Lighting

Hanging lanterns or pendant lights cast from an overhead beam or cable can add the right light and flair to your patio. If overhead lighting is a challenge then you can place lanterns on your surfaces as well as outline patios or walkways. There are some great solar options these days!

Create a Decorative Accent

This can be done with some outdoor tile. Perhaps a row of tiles along the risers leading to the patio or even an outline of your patio perimeter could work. If you want to go an easier route then paint can achieve a similar effect.

Keep it Clean

Take a day here and there to give your patio a good cleaning. Wipe down all surfaces, broom off the flooring then wash with an appropriate cleaner. The elements can do a job on making things dirty over time so you will want to keep up with making the setting as inviting and comfortable as possible. 

 

Great Ways To Improve Your Home For Under $1,000 Each

Most everyone wants to improve their homes whether it is for their daily enjoyment or if it is during a time that they want to list and sell. While not everyone has an enormous budget to work with, the good news is there are still plenty of small scale updates that you can make that can have a big impact. Here is a closer look. 

Crown Molding

A regular room without any detail can run the risk of looking boring or cold. Crown molding that is added to a room can add a certain dimension and architectural interest. This can be a relatively inexpensive project to do to your home’s core rooms such as living and dining spaces. Painting it a crisp white to match the ceilings is great. For any rooms with lower ceiling heights then go with the same wall color. 

Front Door
Where it is the first thing all visitors see, your front door should make a great first impression. Choose something that is current, matches your home’s style and is a complementary color. If you are planning on selling your home then select a shade that is neutral. 

Outlet Covers and Switches

Bring your older home into current years with the updating of your wall switches. Replace your old toggle switches with new rocker types. You can take the opportunity to add dimmers to certain rooms and replace others with wifi enabled ones that can be controlled via smartphones.

Update Ceilings

Save your popcorn for the movies and remove it from your ceilings. Most everyone and every buyer will not be looking for this style of outdated ceiling texture. If you plan on doing this removal yourself, you may want to hire a specialist to test it for asbestos first.

Lighting

Good lighting can have a big impact. You can never go wrong with recessed lighting as it is timeless and unobtrusive. Main living areas including kitchens and living rooms are fantastic places to invest in these types of lighting solutions. 

Guest Bath Flooring

If your bathroom is decades old perhaps with a pastel colored floor then it may be time to upgrade. Guest baths are typically smaller and of course are the place you want to showcase to your guests. These days ceramic tile remains fairly cost effective while luxury vinyl tile has come a long way in its look and durability as a fantastic option. 

Paint

The best tried and true way to transform your rooms on a small budget is with paint. Most everyone can handle a painting project themselves which can save them a lot of money as opposed to hiring a professional. If you are planning on selling soon, keep your palette as neutral as possible. Most paint companies offer ideas of current color trends that you can pull from as well!

Homebuyer’s Open House Guide

Touring homes is possibly the most fun part of the homebuying process. Viewing different style homes, layouts, features and more will help you decide what you like best and can inspire new ideas for whichever home you end up purchasing. One of the best ways to begin your search is to visit some open houses. These give you the chance to informally start to preview some homes in the area of interest. Here are some helpful tips as you begin.

Confirm your needs in a home

Before you head out without a formalized plan, get organized. This means establishing a budget along with the absolute necessary items which are separate from the “would be nice to haves.” It is really easy to get excited when you see a nice home come online but if it doesn’t have enough bedrooms, it won’t work for you in the end.

Don’t criticize owner’s décor or taste

If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything. Keep your thoughts to yourself on anything that you may not like when touring the home. Keep the focus on asking questions or making note of how you can change wall colors, flooring etc. 

Keep an open mind

Not every home will be a mind blowing great fit when you first find it online. There are some things that are important that you won’t be able to change like location. However, if you locate something that may be dated in some areas, need a little sprucing or the like, have an open mind. It may be worth buying a home in the perfect location and doing some updates over time. There are many creative ways to do even some updating to tide you over until you are ready to do a larger renovation project.

Follow the rules 

Some owners may have certain requests like taking shoes off or the like. You should always be respectful of one’s home and follow the rules. Feel free to enter each room and open doors, just do not touch the owner’s belongings. 

Don’t linger

While it may be an informal event, be respectful of other visitors and the agent. Make sure you come during the advertised hours. If you are serious about the home, take your time but if you are simply tire kicking then allow the agent to speak with those who are more ready to make their move.

Ask questions and take notes

Especially if you are pretty interested in the home you should ask questions about anything you want to know. Perhaps it may be about major repairs, roof condition, HOA fees and what they include or the like. Take notes about these things so you remember them afterwards.

Research the market and be ready

Open houses can be great when you first start looking but it is still very helpful and important to speak with an agent to have a professional’s guidance. An agent can tell you the current state of the market, how fast things are selling, what to expect to pay and more. You will also want to have a pre-approval letter from a lender so that you will be ready to make an offer when that perfect home comes on the market. 

Top Fun Backyard Design Ideas

As the recent pandemic has changed how we all live and value our homes, our yards have truly become more valuable these days than ever. If you are thinking about enhancing your own backyard to achieve your own pleasure at home, take a look at some of these great ideas.

Play Features

Get away from the TV and sofa and gather with your friends outdoors for some play time. Pour a drink and fire up the grill while you play some of your favorite games together. Game ideas include a bocce ball court, putting green or setting up a corn hole platform set.

Exercise Area

Feel the burn in the outdoors with an outdoor gym. All you need is some designated space, a few of your favorite weather proof pieces of equipment, and you use a simple sailcloth panel to provide shade and protection from the elements. 

Meditation Space

Sometimes you need to connect with nature and decompress and recharge from the troubles of the world. The solution can be to set up a yoga or meditation space as a place to rejuvenate. You can find a quiet spot surrounded by plants that is perfect for a deck or your mat.

Water Features

Water features can really range in scope from cheap to more involved and expensive. On the simple side an outdoor shower can be a great idea to experience the best refreshing way to cool off and get clean in nature. These showers can also be quite convenient for washing pets too! Next idea would be a hot tub for cooler days or evenings to soak and relax under the stars. Finally, if your yard and budget permits, there are all shapes and sizes of pools to choose from that suit your likings.

Relaxation Zones

Here is where you can create all sorts of options for outdoor enjoyment. For simple relaxation solutions you can use hammocks, swing beds and sun beds which are great for lounging, reading or even napping. You can then ramp it up to the next level and make an outdoor living room with couches, tables, outdoor carpet and create a space just as you would inside. Other options include setting up a dining area with table and chairs for gathering with friends and family for meals, playing games or even doing some light work at home. 

 

8 Easy Ways To Personalize Your New Home

When you first move into your new home it is common to want to put your personal stamp on it to make it uniquely yours. Sure your furniture and belongings inherently do that to a certain point, but not everyone has the vision or interior design gene to know where to start. Here are 8 great and easy ways to customize your new place.

Paint Front Door

For a much smaller commitment than repainting the whole house, consider painting the front door with a color of your choice. This will freshen up the look but also help put your own taste into the front facade.

Paint an Accent Wall 

If you cannot come up with an idea for changing the color of all of a room, try painting an accent wall. A complementary color will add some life into a room and be a nice backdrop for some of your own artwork. It is a small project while you try mapping out a color scheme.

Bathroom Fixtures

Not everyone has the money ready to redo a bathroom especially right after buying the home. For a fraction of the price of a remodel you could start with elevating the look with some new fixtures. Something of your taste for the vanity and perhaps a nice matching rain head for the shower.

Customize Entry Ways

You know yourself and the household best for what suits, but customize entryways with what makes your lifestyle easier. Perhaps it’s a bench by the door with shoe storage and hooks for keys.

Light Fixtures

Replacing light fixtures is a great idea for low cost with high impact. Maybe it is the one for the dining area, added pendants over bar counter seating or even a prominent room’s ceiling fan light combo. Select something that is more conducive to your taste and lifestyle.

Window Treatments

The cost of window treatments can really vary. On the lower end you could simply upgrade your blinds and curtains with colors and textures that you like. On the higher end you could invest in plantation shutters for a really refined and timeless look.

Plants

Fill your empty corners and spaces with some life, literally. You can never go wrong with real, living house plants. They come in all shapes and sizes so they are very accommodating for any location that needs some freshening. 

Outdoor Fun

Finally, enjoy the outdoors as you wish. Whether it’s relaxing on a hammock, with friends around a firepit and picnic table or playing games like horseshoe there are many affordable and easy options to set the stage for how you want to make the yard just the way you want it.

Common Mistakes Buyers Make At The Final Walkthrough

When you have located the perfect house to purchase and have gone through the inspections, financing and appraisal processes then just before you close you will need to conduct the final walkthrough. This next to last step is to make sure you view the home and confirm that it is in proper working order and the sellers have left what they should have – nothing more, nothing less. However, there are some common mistakes to avoid that buyers make at the walkthrough. Here are some of them.

Arriving early

While you may be excited to visit the home again and of course being late is not great you don’t want to show up early to the walkthrough. Moving requires a lot and sellers may be in need of every minute to prepare the home including cleaning. The walkthrough is always scheduled to be as close to the actual closing as possible but sometimes there are larger gaps.

Not bringing your agent

No two deals are alike and sometimes there are gray areas that leave things in question. This is where you want to have your agent by your side to guide you through this step. Your agent will also help review the home to ensure everything is as it should be per your agreement. 

Measuring and planning 

The sole purpose of this step is to make sure that the home is in proper condition and that everything is as it should be per the purchase agreement. All parties agree to allot time for this to be completed. This is not the time to do additional measurements for furniture or the like to decide what fits or doesn’t.

Not bringing the purchase and sale doc

This is important especially to confirm that any and all items that were discussed to be done were completed. It is common to have a few things come up during the inspection and then sometimes have to negotiate into the contract. This checklist should be on you during the walkthrough.

Not checking for damage

Sometimes buyers are focused on the items that were supposed to be completed instead of doing a general review of the home for damage. Even if sellers have hired professional movers there could still be some moving related items that require repair. 

Checking for additional repairs

If there is a moving related issue or something that wasn’t there before then that is one thing, but the final walkthrough is not the time to look for additional items to further negotiate. Your opportunity to audit needed repairs is during the home inspection, not the walkthrough. Additionally, especially in a seller’s market it is not wise to delay a closing for any of these reasons as the sellers may have