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12 Ideas I Love . . . To Spruce Up, Decorate, or Stage Your Home

You don't need lots of money to have a beautiful and stylish home.  After all, most people have to work with a limited budget.

Here are 12 ideas I love . . . to decorate, spruce up, or stage your home on a budget.

1.  Create high impact for your built-in bookshelves by either painting the back of the bookshelves with a deep color that coordinates with the room or lining the backs with an interesting wallpaper.  This is a way to give depth to the bookshelves and add some drama.  

Should You Remodel Before Selling?

There is a lot to do when getting your home ready to sell.  Other than the usual cleaning, de-cluttering, and de-personalizing, remodeling may be the way to go, depending on the local real estate market, the condition of your home, and its location.

You may be hesitant to upgrade when it's time to sell because of the fact that most remodeling efforts only increase the value of the home by approximately 60-80% of the actual cost of the project.  See Remodeling Magazine's 2016 Cost vs Value Report.  However, for many sellers the cost of inaction can be far greater than the small loss incurred on a home-improvement project. It can mean the difference between getting multiple bids and driving up the selling price, or getting no offers at all.  Getting no offers can mean your home stays on the market longer than the average market time, buyers start to look at your home as if there is something 'wrong' with it, and you end up selling for much less.  You also have ongoing expenses to pay for your mortgage, taxes, and maintenance costs that add up over time.

To make the most of your remodeling budget, you should focus on features that at least 80% of today's home buyers really want.  Here is summary list:

How to Leave Your Home Alone - 6 Tips

When you are gone from your home for more than a few days, it is important to protect yourself from potential break ins, fires and other safety issues.  There are several things you can do to reduce your risk and react faster if something DOES happen.

1. Know your neighbors.  Get to know your immediate neighbors on either side of you and/or across your street.  They can provide a lookout and if you really trust them you can give them a key to your house or a code to your garage door opener (either temporary or permanent).    You can watch out for each other.  Some areas have neighborhood watch groups that meet regularly and keep an eye on each other’s houses all the time.