california real estate

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

Young family painting the wall

Painting Your Own Home: Tips to Make the Process Painless

While it’s might seem easier to hire professionals to paint the house, but with a little research you can find the job is not as intimidating as it seems. With a few free days set aside and some preparation, painting one room (or multiple) is easily doable for anyone. Here are a few things to consider before you start.

Apply a Primer Coat

Preparation entails most of the painting process. It’s easy to become frustrated during the preparation stage, because prepping to paint can take longer than the actual painting component of the project.

Interior walls aren’t always perfect, and painting the walls is a perfect opportunity to fix those imperfections. If you’re using a putty or a filler to patch holes, the paint will react differently to those substances than it will the wall itself. The solution here is to prime your walls, so the new paint color has a uniform surface to adhere to. It’s one simple step that doesn’t seem like much, but could end up saving you a whole lot of work at the end of the process.

Factor in taping time

Taping up the room is tedious work, but will be worth it when you don’t have to waste time being ultra-careful or nervous when getting close to edges. Instead of trying to take the tape off while the paint is still dry, wait at least 24 hours for the paint to dry, and use a knife to slice the tape off at the edge. If the paint is still even a little wet or gummy, don’t continue. Make sure the knife is sharp enough and pull the tape away at a 45-degree angle, making sure not to rip the paint.

Set up with clean-up in mind

To protect floors, a drop cloth is a necessity. In some cases, cotton or canvas drop clothes can work better than plastic. Plastic drop cloths can be slippery and don’t easily stay in place, especially when ladders are involved. Any splatters or drips of paint that fall onto a plastic drop cloth won’t dry or absorb right away and can be easily tracked throughout the rest of your house. A canvas or cotton drop cloth will be more stable and will protect the floors better. Tape the edges of the drop cloth to the tops of the trim to protect both the floor and the trims from any splattering or dripping paint.

Work top down

Not only does it prevent drips from ruining anything you’ve already painted, but it keeps the walls and baseboards free of any dust or debris from sticking to wet trim. Paint the ceiling first, move to the walls and possible crown moldings. Only then should you move to any trims around windows or doors and finish with the baseboards. Not only will this keep a system in place to ensure there’s no questioning what’s been painted and what hasn’t, but it’ll keep things clean.

Check thickness of previous paint layers

Cracks on an exterior paint job don’t reflect the owner’s best intentions and should be fixed before the damage is too much to fix. Too thick of a layer of paint means that the paint might just be too heavy to stay, and will start to crack and to peel off. It loses its grip and can’t attach to the other layers of paint. In older homes, it’s likely that some of those layers of paint have lead in them, in which case you’ll need to look into how to remove it safely. The EPA has guidelines here. This could be the one step that requires you to outsource, if the layer of paint is extremely thick, because removing it completely (and correctly) will ensure the next coat of paint will attach correctly. Hiring a home washing company can help you identify these cracks in exterior paint as well. If anything, have the exterior of your home professionally power washed, so the paint will have a clean surface to adhere to.

Using these tips, ideally the house-painting process will be doable for anyone. Prepare yourself to set aside time for set-up, knowing that it will help when you’re done painting and ready to clean up. Instead of hiring painting professionals, save some money for decorating and tackle the job yourself.

Curious to know how much your Southern California home is worth! Get an instant report now! www.CaliOnTheMove.com 

Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.

Laura Key, REALTOR® Cal BRE 01908085 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Types of Real Estate Sales - Coffee Time with the Realty Goddess

https://youtu.be/swxL643JKYw  

When you are purchasing a home you will come across many different "types" of sales. Short-Sales, Stand, HUD, Trust, REO...it can be confusing. This broadcast will look into the terms and untangle the mystery.

If you are in the Los Angeles area, I would love the opportunity to earn your business.

Laura Key, REALTOR Cal BRE 01908085 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

Follow me on: Periscope & Twitter: @RealtyGoddess Snapchat: @RealtyGoddess Instagram: @realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess

How To Find A Realtor (Buyer)

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hf7vgVU_IGs&w=420&h=315] Did you know most people choose a Realtor by spinning the wheel of fortune? When you are buying a home, you really should take the time to interview agents to help your buying experience the most enjoyable as it can be.

Did you know not all agents work the same? Some don't work weekends, some don't want to work with buyers, some only work certain hours of the day, some are part time, etc.  But how will this benefit you when you are working hard to find the home of your dreams.

Interviewing agents is a extremely important part of successfully buying a home.

Enjoy the above Periscope broadcast to learn a few things when choosing a Realtor! (recorded March 19, 2016)

Please note I have a correction: If an agent tells you they will not let you out of a buyer's agency, please think long and hard before signing.

Follow me...

Snapchat: @realtygoddess Periscope & Twitter: @realtygoddess Instagram: realtygoddess1 Facebook: www.Facebook.com/RealtyGoddess Website: www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

The “KEY” to your real estate dreams!

Lots of Los Angeles Real Estate Agents want to be stars as big as the celebrities they cater to. Me? I just want to help people find the homes that make them happy and help them to create a sanctuary for future dreams and lasting memories.

Laura Key 310-866-8422 Laura.A.Key@gmail.com Cal BRE #01908085

Unexpected Benefits of Repainting Your Home

paint Unexpected Benefits of Repainting Your Home 

As a homeowner, you understand the importance of updating your property from time to time. Whether you plan on putting your house on the market or are ready to embark on a home improvement project, repainting your home both inside and out is a great way to personalize your living space while also adding value to your home. Read on to discover 5 unexpected benefits that accompany a fresh paint job! 

Cleanliness

The first benefit that comes along with a newly painted interior is a dramatically cleaner house. Over time, interior walls get scuffed, scraped and smudged and often times we don’t even notice. Highly trafficked walkways receive the majority of this damage, but doorways and walls near furniture often find themselves in danger as well. Recently painted walls also take some of the age out of the appearance of your home, and anyone who visits will take notice of how new your home feels. 

Cost Effectiveness

When considering potential home improvement projects, there are few options that provide as much benefit as a new paint job in the same price range. Other common ventures such as remodeling a kitchen or bathroom can cost thousands of dollars between the work, materials, and appliances necessary to complete them. Renewing interior wall paint can be done by the homeowner with the only cost being painting materials, and hiring a local house painter would still be cheaper then other home renovation undertakings.

Air Quality 

Thinking about the cleanliness of the air within your home should be a top priority, and recently painters have become more aware of the effect that their paint has on home environments. This had led to an increase of paints that contain little or no amounts of ‘Volatile Organic Compounds,’ which are carbon-based chemicals that can easily evaporate at room temperature. These compounds, known as VOC’s, are known by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cause eye, nose and throat irritation, frequent headaches, nausea, and can also damage the liver, kidney and central nervous system. If you live in an older home or you are not sure about the level of these compounds in your current paint, it is imperative that you repaint your interior for your own health.

Environmental Protection 

Having a fresh coat of paint on the exterior of your abode is nearly as beneficial as updating the paint on your interior. The first and most obvious reason that exterior house painting is advantageous is the boost in curb appeal. Whether your house will be listed for sale or not, visitors and passerby will notice the improved aesthetic of your external walls. Beyond just impressing the people who see your home, refreshing the paint on the outside of your house will also protect your building materials. High-quality paint on the exterior of your home will decrease the risks imposed by inclement weather conditions. Repainting the exterior of your home will simultaneously improve the look of your house and save you money by preventing expensive repairs! 

Increased Home Value 

The final, and most obvious, improvement that comes from repainting your home is the bump that your property receives in value. I have already discussed the boost in curb appeal and that fresh paint makes a home feel newer, which are both reasons why your home’s worth will increase. Most realtors advise against starting large renovation projects prior to listing your house for sale out of fear that you will not see a return on your investment, but the low cost associated with a repainted home makes this a safe bet to provide tremendous return on investment. 

Curious to know how much your Southern California home is worth! Get an instant report now! www.CaliOnTheMove.com 

Bio: Matt Lawler is an Internet marketing specialist from Tempe, Arizona where he attended Arizona State University. Whenever he can step away from the computer, Matt enjoys playing sports, traveling and exploring the great outdoors. Follow him on Twitter.

Laura Key, REALTOR®

Cal BRE 01908085

310-866-8422

Laura.A.Key@gmail.com

 

The Balance Between Packing and Staging When Trying to Sell a Home

Staging your home is basically decorating it for showings. The idea is to make your house look like a house other people would like to live in, and make the house appeal to as many people as possible. While this seems easy enough for most people, it does make packing your home up for a big move complicated. Of course, a full-service moving company such as these full service movers could come and pack everything for you after your house sells, but if hiring a mover isn’t in the budget then there is a complicated issue.

The balance seems impossible. If you pack up your stuff there will be boxes everywhere and your house will look like a mess while it’s for sale. If you leave it as is until the day before you move you will be rushed, stressed, and less careful. So how do you find the sweet spot? Hopefully the following tips will provide you with some valuable insight.

De-clutter Your Space

De-cluttering will be the most helpful thing in achieving this balance without a doubt. Not only will less junk make your house appear larger and more open, but less messy without unused furniture. Gather up everything that wont have a place in your new home and donate what you can, otherwise call these furniture removal specialists.

Repaint the Interior

This is something you will likely have to do for the next owners anyway. Putting a fresh layer of paint over every room will make the room seem much cleaner and brighter. You will want to stick to neutral colors to really chase mass appeal. This is a great home staging idea that can be done easily (and quickly with the help of these one day painters).

Use Packing to Help Stage

Pack each room individually and put away anything not necessary for staging. Pack up all your family pictures, souvenirs and mementos and place them in the closet. Basically half-packing each room will actually make your home feel more organized and clean while also removing remnants of the past owner. Taking your personal style out of the house will make sure that more people can visualize themselves making it their own home. Once the extra things are packed (or thrown) away you should have more space available inside the house. Take advantage of this to show a room’s full potential rather then just leaving all your furniture where it is.

Continue Minimizing 

There are still ways to continue minimizing. Take all of your child’s wall decorations down and pack them up. I recommend putting all of the extra boxes neatly in the garage to maximize space inside the house. Continue purging the house for items that show the previous owner, as these must be packed prior to showing the house. Extra mirrors, wall decorations and small appliances are also great things to pack away ahead of time. People viewing your house may open up some cabinets in the kitchen so if they are partially packed they will look extra spacious.

Written by Matt Lawler www.zogdigital.com

Laura Key, Realty Goddess

310-866-8422

www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

HOW MUCH IS YOUR HOME WORTH?

www.CaliOnTheMove.com

Laura.A.Key@gmail.com

 

Tips on How To Prepare Your Home for Holiday Guests

snowflake-1152.jpg__800x600_q85_crop By: Lisa Kaplan Gordon *Published: November 14, 2011

Is your home ready for holiday visits from friends and family? Here’s how to prepare for the invasion.

I'm lucky and have a guest suite always ready for holiday guests. But even with a dedicated space, preparing my home for the annual onslaught of friends and family takes time and forethought.

Some preparations for holiday guests take only a few minutes; some take a lot longer. My advice: Start preparing your home for the holidays now.

Prioritize

The day before guests arrive is no time to pull apart junk drawers and clean out linen closets. Declutter guest rooms and public areas — foyer, kitchen, living room, den, and dining room. Remove anything unnecessary from countertops, coffee tables, and ottomans; if it’s out of sight, keep it out of mind, for now.

If you run short of time, bag up the clutter and store it in car trunks, basements, and out-of-the-way closets. Sort and arrange after your guests depart.

Safety

Light the way: Even though you can navigate your home blindfolded, your guests can’t. Make sure outside lights are working so they don’t trip on the way to your door. Put motion-activated night lights in hallways, bathrooms, and bedrooms to ensure safe passage after the sun sets.

Child proofing: Ask parents to bring hardware that keeps their small ones safe, such as baby gates and cabinet locks. Transfer toxic cleaners and medicines from base to wall cabinets. Hide matches and lighters.

Fire prevention: If you didn’t freshen smoke detector batteries when you switched the clocks to Daylight Savings Time, change them now. After your guests arrive, run a quick fire drill: Make sure they can locate exits and fire extinguishers, and that they know how to open windows and doors.

Entryway upgrades

Your home’s foyer is the first place guests see, so make a good first impression.

  • Upgrade exterior entry doors or give old doors a new coat of paint. Polish and tighten door hardware, and oil hinges to prevent squeaks.
  • Remove scratches from hardwood floors, stairs, and wood railings. Place a small rug or welcome mat at the entrance to protect floors from mud and snow. 
  • Clear out shoes, umbrellas, and other clutter.
  • Add extra hooks to walls so guests can hang coats and hats.
  • Add a storage bench where guests can remove boots and shoes.

Kitchen prep

Your kitchen is command central during the holidays, so make sure it’s ready for guests and extra helpers.

  • To increase storage, install a pot rack to clear cooking items off countertops and ranges.
  • Move your coffee station into a family room so guests don’t crowd the kitchen when you’re trying to fix meals.
  • If you like to visit while you’re cooking, place extra stools and chairs around the perimeter of your kitchen so guests can set a spell.

Sleeping arrangements

If you’ve got a guest room, replace the ceiling fixture with a ceiling fan and light combo, which helps guests customize their room temperature without fiddling with the thermostat for the entire house. 

To carve sleeping space out of public areas, buy a folding screen or rolling bookcase, which will provide privacy for sleepers. Fold or roll it away in the morning.

Bathroom storage

Bring toilet paper, towels, and toiletries out of hiding, and place them on open shelves so guests can find them easily.

If you don’t have enough wall space for shelves, place these items in open baskets around the bathroom.

Also, outfit each tub with a bath mat (to avoid falls) and each toilet with a plunger (to avoid embarrassment).

What tips do you have for getting ready for guests this holiday season?

Find your next home with me! I'd love to hand you a set of new keys! www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

What Home Projects Should You Do Yourself?

 DIY

What Home Projects Should You Do Yourself?

By: Oliver Marks

Published: March 8, 2011

Doing maintenance jobs yourself can be a smart way to save money, but choose the right DIY projects or you'll end up paying dearly.

Why pay someone to do something you can do yourself? Because sometimes doing it yourself costs more than it saves.

More than 100,000 people injure themselves each year doing home improvement jobs. So add medical bills to your DIY budget, and you ending up spending the same, or more, than if you hired a pro.

We’re not suggesting that you call a plumber each time you need to plunge a toilet. But think twice about what DIY might really cost you. Here’s how to decide.

Stick to routine maintenance for savings and safety

Seasonal home maintenance is ideal work for the weekend warrior because you can tackle these jobs when your schedule permits. Because these are routine maintenance projects, your savings will add up. Mowing your own lawn, for example, saves $55 to $65 a week for a half-acre lawn. The bigger the lot, the bigger the savings: with two acres, you’ll pocket around $150 per week.

When it pays:

  • Snow removal
  • Pruning shrubs
  • Washing windows (be careful on that ladder)
  • Sealing decks
  • Painting fences
  • Fertilizing lawns
  • Replacing air conditioner filters
  • Cleaning gutters

When it costs: Unless you have skill and experience on your side, stay off any ladder taller than six feet; according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, emergency rooms are filled with people with ladder injuries. The same goes for operating power saws or attempting any major electrical work—it’s simply too risky if you don’t have the experience.

Become your own general contractor

If you’re more comfortable operating an iPhone than a circular saw, you could act as your own general contractor on some home improvement projects. That means you hire, schedule, and pay the carpenters, plumbers, and other tradesmen yourself. You’ll save 10% to 20% of the job cost, which is the contractor’s typical fee.

When it pays: If it’s a small job that requires only two or three subcontractors, and you have good relationships with top-quality professionals in those fields, consider DIY contracting.

When it costs: When you don’t have an established network of reliable workers, time to supervise, construction experience to spot problems, and the skill to negotiate disputes between subcontractors, your project and budget are at risk.

Invest sweat equity on big jobs

Contribute your own labor to big jobs being handled by a professional crew and cut hundreds, even thousands, off construction costs. For instance, tear out kitchen cabinets and appliances before the contractor gets started, and you might knock $800 off the cost of your remodel. Make sure you negotiate cost savings with your contractor before pitching in.

When it pays: Jobs that are labor-intensive but require relatively little skill make perfect sweat equity jobs. Perform minor interior demolition, such as pulling up old flooring, daily job site cleanup, product assembly, and simple landscaping.

When it costs: If you get in the crew’s way, you may slow them down far more than you help. Make your contributions when the workers aren’t around; mornings before they arrive, or nights and weekends after they’ve left.

Add finishing touches

Unlike the early phases of a construction job--which require skilled labor to frame walls, install plumbing pipes, and run wires--many finishing touches are comparatively simple and DIY-friendly. If you paint a basement remodel yourself, for instance, you can save up to $1,800.

When it pays: If you have skill, patience, or an experienced friend to teach you, setting tile, laying flooring, painting walls, and installing trim are good DIY jobs.

When it costs: The downside to attempting your own finish work is that the results are very visible. Hammer dents in woodwork, or sander ruts in hardwood floors will annoy you every time you see them. So unless you have a sure eye and a steady hand, don’t perform the tasks that only a skilled tradesperson will get right.

Find your next home with me! Text LKHOMES to 87778 or visit http://87778.mobi/LKHOMES for your FREE search.
Laura Key, CalBRELic #0198085
www.KeyCaliforniaHomes.com

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Raised Garden Beds - Grow Your Own Food

When you have a home you can save yourself a lot of money by growing a few items in your own backyard!  Here is a great way to get started!

Garden

Find your next home with me! Text LKHOMES to 87778 to download the MLS on  your mobile phone, or visit http://87778.mobi/lkhomes to download the FREE app on your iPad/Tablet

Finding Extra Space In Your Home!

Look how much extra storage space can be

gained when you install toe-kick drawers!

Toe Drawer

Find your next home with me! Text LKHOMES to 87778 to download the MLS on your mobile phone,or visit http://87778.mobi/lkhomes to download the FREE app on your iPad/Tablet