Lynn D'Avolio
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage | 801-597-2857 | lynn1@soldbylynn.com


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/14/2017

Many of us will move home several times throughout our lives. Whether itís relocating for work, needing a bigger house for children, or a quiet place to retire to, itís likely that the home you live in now wonít be yours forever.

 As a result, many homeowners wonder what they can do to ensure their home will have a high resale value when the time comes to move on.

 The good news is that there are a lot of things you can do now that will give you a good return on investment when it comes to selling your home later. However, there are a few factors that affect a homeís valuation that are out of your control. Weíll talk about all of those factors below. So, read on for a list of the factors that affect your homeís resale value.

 The age of your home

Your house may not complain about it, but it isnít getting any younger. Homes tend to slowly decrease in value over time. A home built in the late 1970s, even if itís well taken care of, most likely wonít sell for the same price as a 15-year-old home.

There is one exception to the rule, however, and that is historical houses. Homes that are a century old can sell for top dollar because of the craftsmanship and history that the house contains.

Admittedly, this is a niche market, as many people just want a safe and efficient home to live in. However, there are some homebuyers who will put in a bit of extra work around the house for the chance to live inside of a piece of history.

Smart renovations

When youíre upgrading your house itís important to remember how that upgrade will pay off years down the road. Some renovations will almost always give a good return on investment such as a finished basement or attic and improving efficiency via added insulation or replacing windows.

Renovations that match a very specific decorative taste or style could come back to haunt you. This includes bathroom sinks, kitchen cabinets, countertops, and other expensive projects that are subject to the next ownerís taste. While these upgrades can give a good return on your investment, theyíre more likely to be successful if they fit the current trends of style and craftsmanship.

Neighborhood and town

One of the factors of home valuation that you have little control over is the town and neighborhood the house is located in. If there are closed down businesses, foreclosed and deteriorating homes then potential buyers might be turned off to the neighborhood.

Similarly, the town you live in has a lot to do with how much people are willing to spend. If you have easy access to interstate highways and large cities, highly rated schools, and good local infrastructure, then buyers are likely to take these into consideration when making an offer, as the average cost of a home in your town is likely higher than some surrounding towns.




Tags: home   resale value   valuation  
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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 11/7/2017

Puppies can be a great addition to any household. They're cute, cuddly, loyal, and can grow to be a loving family member. However, when they are still small and untrained, puppies can wreak havoc on your home. There are also items that you should be aware of that could affect your puppy's health In order to protect your house, and dog, from any permanent puppy damage, follow these tips.

  • A new puppy will be curious, so make sure to remove most items that are within reach, and not nailed down, to prevent them from becoming too destructive, or making themselves sick.
  • Believe it or not, some common, household plants can prove very toxic for dogs. To protect their fragile stomachs, familiarize yourself with these plants (see this article from Pet Education). Remove these plants from your home, or put them in a place where they cannot be reached.
  • Puppies will eat pretty much anything, so you will need to keep them from getting into your food, garbage, and cleaning supplies. Keep cleaning supplies in high cupboards, or use child locks on your lower cabinets, to prevent a nosy canine from getting in and using your bleach bottle as a chew toy. This same tip can go for food. Particular foods that can harm your dog include grapes, raisins, chocolate and coffee. For your garbage, try finding a locking garbage can, that way even if it gets tipped over, he cannot get into the bag and eat things that he shouldn't. For smaller, bathroom trashcans, try to keep them up high and out of reach.
  • Close off stairways with a baby gate, until they have fully mastered going up and down the stairs safely.
  • To prevent the puppy from chewing on wooden legs of furniture, spray them with a disinfectant with a particular scent or smell that may deter them away from this object. Just make sure it is non-toxic! Vinegar may work just as well.
  • Keep cords and wires well out of reach. These can be a potential fire hazard, as well as could seriously injure the pup. You could bundle them together with clips, or get cord protectors. Also, anything on the floor level that is plugged into an electrical socket (i.e. phone charger, air-fresheners, etc), make sure to unplug those, as they could electrocute the puppy if they attempt to chew on it.
  • Make other spaces in and around your home puppy safe, as well. Your garage has many dangerous chemicals and objects that a puppy could easily get into if they start roaming around. Make sure everything is up high, or locked up tight.
  • For your yard, make sure you get rid of any plants that could be poisonous to dogs, as well as any yard decorations that are eye level to them and could get chewed up. Make sure your garden chemicals are not hazardous to animals. If they start chewing the grass or plants, they could become ill. To protect your wicker lawn furniture, try typing cloths around the legs to prevent your dog from chewing them.
As much as your home and the quality of your material possessions are important, your dog's life is of much greater importance. Make sure to keep them safe, and your home less chewed up, by taking precautions before you bring Fido home!




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Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/31/2017

There's a cheap office supply product available almost anywhere that can improve your home organization, save you money, and help prevent food-borne illnesses: ordinary stickers.

By stocking up on a variety of blank stickers, you can boost your efficiency around the house, save time, and reduce confusion.

Here are a few examples of how this basic strategy can prevent problems and simplify your life:

  • Leftover food: How many times have you looked at a container or package of leftover food in the refrigerator and wondered if it's still reasonably fresh and safe to eat? If you label it with the date, you'll never have to risk getting sick from food that's been sitting around in the fridge for weeks (or longer). "When in doubt, throw it out" is a good policy for dealing with perishable food items, but you also don't want to get in the habit of throwing out perfectly good food. Everyone has slightly different standards for how long food should be kept, but when leftovers are not labeled, your only option is to guess how long it's been there -- and that method isn't too accurate! As a side note, there are several government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that can advise you on recommended refrigeration storage times (and safe temperatures) for different types of food. Generally, it's three or four days, but it can be more or less, depending on how perishable it is, whether the package has been opened, and if it's cooked or raw. Frozen food has a much longer shelf life (usually one or two months in the freezer), but if you don't label it, you may have no idea what it is ("mystery meat?") or how long it's been in storage! Clearly labeling refrigerated and frozen food will give you peace of mind, help prevent you from throwing away food prematurely (saving you money), and reduce your chances of getting food-borne illnesses.
  • Old keys: Did you ever stumble upon an old key and wonder which door, suitcase, file cabinet, or car it's meant for? You can always try it out on different locks, luggage, or vehicles, but it could easily be from a previous residence, an item you no longer own, or a vehicle you traded in years ago. A much more efficient method would be to place the key in a small envelope or zip-lock bag and label it with identifying information. Labeling the tag on the keychain is another option.
  • House paint: Paint cans that have been around for years can often be difficult to identify, especially if the original product label is obscured by paint spills. By adding a descriptive label displaying the date, the room it was used on, and the color, it will be much easier to organize and find the paint you need when you want touch up your walls or baseboards.
While some members of the family may tease you for putting labels on everything, the amount of time, money, and frustration you'll be saving down the road will be well worth the inconvenience (and the ribbing)!





Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/24/2017

Have you heard the term ďearnest moneyĒ but really arenít sure what it means? Once you have found the perfect home and are all set to make an offer, thereís one more step that you need to take. Thatís to make a deposit on the home you want to buy. This is known as an ďearnest money deposit.Ē  


The Purpose Of The Deposit


The deposit shows the seller that youíre serious about buying the home. Itís a measure that allows the seller to have some faith in you as a buyer that youíre truly moving forward with your decision; youíre ready as a buyer to make the financial commitment. This deposit allows the deal to begin on a solid basis without much question. 


Is The Deposit Required Legally To Buy A Home?


From a sellerís perspective, a deposit keeps a buyer from changing their mind. If there is a significant amount of money involved, the seller sees the deposit as a way to keep the buyer locked in. This makes it easier for sellers to accept an offer. 


How Much Is Expected For An Earnest Money Deposit?


These deposits donít quite have a standard amount. The general rule is that they range from 1% of the home price up to 5%. The more expensive of a home thatís being purchased, the larger the earnest money deposit should be. In some cases, the seller may even ask for a certain amount of a deposit to ensure that buyers are serious. How much money you pay at once is often negotiable. You may be able to pay part of the money at one time and the other part at a later date.


New Construction Can Require Large Deposits


New construction homes can require large earnest money deposits- up to half of the purchase price of the home. This is because the construction costs need to be paid upfront and the bank wants proof that the units being constructed with loan money are being sold to buyers who can pay for the home. 


New construction homes are often customized as well. It would be detrimental to a developer to make special changes to a home only for a buyer to walk away. 


Getting The Deposit Refunded


As with everything in real estate, youíll have a contract. If you donít follow the terms of the contract, you risk losing your earnest money deposit. Two main reasons for buyers to walk away are a flopped home inspection or financing that falls through. Read your contracts carefully. Sellers sometimes state that deposits are nonrefundable after a certain number of days. 


You need to be sure that you are covered as a buyer in the purchase and sales agreement. If you back out of a home purchase without good reason like a contingency included in the agreement) you could be out of luck when it comes to getting your deposit back.    






Tags: Buying a home   finances  
Categories: Uncategorized  


Posted by Lynn D'Avolio on 10/17/2017

As a minimalist, you only fill your home with furniture and household goods that you need, items that add value to your home, not items that stroke your ego. More living space at home is, admittedly, a large advantage gained from entering the minimalist lifestyle. But, more living space at home isn't the only benefit that you can receive after you embrace a minimalist home lifestyle.

Less may truly be more at home

Less clutter, ease with finding important documents and household items and improved natural light flow are other benefits that come with a minimalist lifestyle. Remove excess items from your home and you can also get rid of outdated food and unused clothing, shoes and yard equipment.

Your inner energy may also shift. For example, after you embrace a minimalist lifestyle at home, you might feel more vibrant, engaged with your life and open to positive changes. Pets that you own can play and rest easier, as they may no longer have to climb over, around or beneath furniture or boxes that you haven't used in months. More benefits of embracing a minimalist lifestyle at home include:

  • Better air flow
  • Improved natural light - Sun rays don't get blocked by tall furniture pieces, boxes and clutter
  • Fewer accidents - More open space presents less chances to trip over cords, furniture legs or decor
  • Fresher food - Because a minimalist home lifestyle means that you'll ride your house of unused and unnecessary items, you won't hold onto outdated food items, including old canned food that's only been taking up space in your kitchen cabinets.
  • More time spent focusing on life goals
  • Better budgeting habits
  • Personal financial growth

Moving toward an advantageous minimalist home lifestyle

Additionally, if you struggled with fear in the past, ideas on actions that you could take to remove the fear, replacing it with confidence, faith and love, might spring to mind. This may happen because a more spacious house could open your mind and make room for innovative thoughts to surface in your conscious mind. Great ideas could spring up seemingly out of nowhere. In a nutshell, there is something to be shared as it regards giving yourself more space.

If you find yourself struggling to let go of the unnecessary, select two to four items a week that you will donate to charity. Take your time letting go of items that are merely taking up space at your house. Also, catch yourself if you start trying to convince yourself that letting go of an item you don't use will cause you to somehow mysteriously need the item after you remove it from your home.

Minimalist home lifestyle can create major positive life shifts

For years, Eastern cultures have known about the benefits of living clutter free. Fortunately, more Western interior designers are starting to realize and embrace the benefits of living with less. When you live a minimalist lifestyle at home, you let go of the notion that filling your house with material goods makes you feel good.

Another habit that you let go of is buying more household items as a way to convince yourself that you are more than someone else. Living a minimalist lifestyle at home could help to free you from the need to compete with others, an erroneous habit that has driven more than a few people into financial debt.




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