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An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets.
Assign pet to each adult to evacuate. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one pet to a parent or adult. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the emergency plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.
Keep emergency maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.
Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!
Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.
Here’s a great website for helpful tips when evacuation is necessary! https://www.ready.gov/animals
Remember if you or someone you know is looking to buy, sell, or lease please give them our information 713-557-7095 or email@example.com
No matter your need The Villarreal Team is always here to assist you!
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Hardwood floors are highly desirable for most homeowners. But they come with their share of challenges when it comes to cleaning, maintenance, and repairs. After a few months or years of heavy use from kids playing with toys and chairs being shuffled around, it may be time for some DIY fixes.
Hiding scratches: Matching stain color is a great option. Another alternative is you can also use crayons, markers or purchase wax sticks from the hardware store to fill-in scratches. Don’t worry if it’s a little off. If the color is close, once the scratch is filled, it’ll look like a variation in the wood grain.
Polishing floors: You can make a polish solution for your floors from household ingredients. Mix olive oil and vinegar in equal parts, pour it directly into scratches, and then wipe it off after 24 hours. It may take several applications, but this homemade polish will fill and cover most scratches.
Clever decor: Sometimes the most painless way to fix scratches in your hardwood floors is to cover them with a rug or furniture arrangement. At least for a short-term fix.
Spot sanding: For deeper scratches, you’ll need to spot sand with fine steel wool or sandpaper, use wood filler, and stain then seal the repaired area.
Hardwood floors can a little TLC every now and again to keep them looking amazing throughout the years. Especially if you have animals, children, or move furniture around often. But they are definitely worth every penny and effort you put into them.
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When you put your home up for sale, one of the best ways to determine the asking price is to look at comparable sales. There’s rarely a perfect apples-to-apples comparison. So your pricing decision often relies on home comparisons to several recent sales in the area.
Give The Villarreal Team a call, we’d love to come out and give you our professional opinion as to what your home is worth! Office 281-370-5100 or Ruben Villarreal 713-557-7095
Real estate negotiations are a subtle art, but skilled negotiators can usually find some common ground that satisfies all parties. On the other hand, using the wrong negotiation tactics can sink a deal pretty quickly.
These are just a few reasons why you need a good real estate agent to help you through this process. They will know what to do and give you the proper advice when purchasing a new home.
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Kitchens and bathrooms have typically been prioritized for their return on investment. The style in which you revamp your home can have effect on its sellability. One factor you may not have considered can have more of an impact than you think, and that’s paint color. Which paint colors will get you the most band for your buck?
Homes that feature charcoal gray or black doors typically sell for $6,271 more than expected. Low on the list for exterior paint colors? Yellow. Homes painted in this color reportedly sell for $3,408 less than expected.
Houses with kitchens that have a different color for the upper and lower cabinets, known as tuxedo cabinets, sell at a $1,547 premium. The most popular color combination? Dark, navy blue or black kitchen islands with white cabinets. In dining rooms, however, homes with oat brown to medium sandy brown walls, with yellow undertones, typically sell for $1,684 less than expected.
As for bathrooms…light blue or periwinkle paint, specifically with a gray-blue tint, increase the average selling price of a home by $2,786. However, don’t discount neutral colors, especially of you’re accentuating them with dark pops of color.
Zillow found that homes with light taupe living rooms, particularly with tan, peach pr pink undertones, sell for $2,793 more than expected. Homes with more boisterous colors, like raspberry red in a kitchen, typically sell for $2,310 less than expected.
“For a seller, painting a front door is one of the least expensive home prep projects, but it’s also one that can have a powerful impact on a home’s sale price,” says Kerrie Kelly, Zillow home design expert. “While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color. Particularly in darker dues of blue and gray to even black which are becoming increasingly popular. Contrasting colors, especially in kitchens and home exteriors, add interest and dimension to a room that plays very well in listing photos and videos.
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Homes that are for sale by owner — when a seller decides not to hire a listing agent — are more common than you might think. They account for about 8 percent of all home listings currently on the market. If you’re on the house hunt, you’re likely to come across one in your search.
What’s different about buying one of these homes? What can you do to leverage the situation to get the most for your money?
1. Hire an agent. Since the seller doesn’t have an agent, it’s vital that you do — if only to ensure the transaction is handled correctly and legally. An agent will be knowledgeable about market conditions and can help you craft your offer, prepare the contracts and find the right lender to work with.
2. Be ready to negotiate. These homes are rarely priced appropriately. Sellers typically overvalue their homes due to their emotional attachment to it. Having an agent on your side gives you access to comparable sales data to help you negotiate the right price.
3. Get a home inspection. The owner may not know that they are legally required to disclose known issues with the property, and that oversight could mean costly repairs down the road. A home inspection can shed light on potential problems before you go through with the sale.
4. Add contingencies to your contract. Contingencies give you an exit route should something go wrong during the transaction. If you can’t get a loan, you’re unhappy with the inspection results or the appraisal doesn’t come in at the sale price, you have a way to back out and save your money.
Want to be prepared for your new home purchase? Get in touch today for help on making the best decision for your budget and goals.
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Moving can be hectic. With dozens of to-dos, a tight timeline and a growing pile of boxes, it’s easy to forget things. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Set deadlines for tasks like hiring movers, renting a storage or turning on your new utilities. Aside from packing up room by room, make sure your list has these often forgotten items, too:
Forward Your Mail: The post office makes it very easy to ensure your mail gets routed to the right place. Just head to a local branch or go online to update your address with the date you’ll be moving, and your mail will automatically forward.
Measure and Decide: Take a measuring tape to your new home and jot down the measurements of each wall and nook. What furniture and decor will fit in your new space? What won’t? It’s better to make decisions about what to donate or sell before moving day.
Refill Prescriptions: It may take some time to get your prescriptions forwarded to a new pharmacy, plus finding the time to pick them up. So if possible, get your prescriptions refilled ahead of time from your current pharmacy.
Back Up Your Electronics: Back up your computer and phone to the cloud, and make sure you’ve uploaded all your photos, documents somewhere safe. In the event something happens to your devices during the move, a backup will get you up and running.
Are you ready to make a move? Whether you’re considering selling your current home or thinking of finding a new one, get in touch today for help and resources to guide you through the process. The Villarreal Team can help!
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It’s a day for backyard barbecues, hometown parades and fireworks. It’s the celebration of our independence as a nation, and it’s been known as America’s birthday since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
On July 4, cities across the country will celebrate with concerts, parades, festivals, food, and of course, fireworks. But, if crowds aren’t your thing, host your own festivities from home. Here are some simple ideas to celebrate the red, white and blue from your own backyard.
BBQ Cookoff – Kick your Independence Day cookout up a notch with a BBQ cookoff. Create categories such as meat, veggies and appetizers and invite your friends to bring their favorite recipe in a specific category. Have guests vote on their favorite and award the winner in each category a prize. Need a little inspiration?
Movie Under the Stars – All you need is a projector and an outdoor screen (or white bed sheet) to enjoy a movie under the stars. Popcorn and s’mores will make it the perfect night. (Don’t forget the bug spray!) Here are a few films full of patriotism and celebration of America the whole family will enjoy: American Graffiti (PG-13); Independence Day (PG-13); Stand By Me (R); Glory (R); National Treasure (PG); Lincoln (PG-13); Yankee Doodle Dandy (G); Miracle (PG); Apollo 13 (PG).
Backyard Carnival – Break out the slip ‘n’ slide, set out the yard games and decorate with banners, flags and lights for a backyard carnival and fun for kids of all ages. Sparklers, poppers and fireworks will make the perfect ending to your Fourth of July backyard carnival (be sure to check your local ordinances regarding fireworks).
Go Camping – Set up tents and a firepit for a campout with the kids. This is a simple, low-key way to enjoy the great outdoors with your family. Cook hotdogs and roast marshmallows over the fire, tell ghost stories, sing songs and catch fireflies. A backyard campout is certain to create lasting memories for you and your children.
Celebrate with Red, White and Blue – Don’t forget the decorations! From tablecloths and paper plates to banners, flags and flowers, make your party festive with plenty of red, white and blue. Decorating doesn’t have to break the bank — check out your local dollar store for plenty of festive and affordable balloons, decor, paper goods and more.
Don’t have a backyard of your own where you can host a celebration? Maybe it’s time to make the move and purchase your own home by contacting The Villarreal Team today!
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