Add These To-Dos to Your Presale Checklist

Homes for sale in Berkeley County, WV

Before booking your market evaluation appointment to discuss listing strategy, here are a few things you can do to prepare for a speedy sale.

Handle Repairs – Take care of easily fixed repairs that may be potential red flags for buyers. Common quick fixes include repairing drywall, repainting walls and oiling hinges.

Declutter – Take this opportunity to get rid of those seldom used itemsthat are cluttering up your home. Remember, it costs to move them so now is the time to let them go!

Start Packing – Store out-of-season clothing, sports gear and small appliances you know you won’t need before the move. Too much stuff crammed into cupboards and closets will make your home seem small.

Downsize Furniture – Consider removing extra or large pieces of furniture that make your home look smaller. You may want to stage specific rooms to highlight potential uses for the space.

Depersonalize – Tuck away family photos, collectibles and any other personal items. It’s important to make your home a “blank canvas” for potential buyers to imagine themselves in.

Check Curb AppealPlant colorful annuals along sidewalks and in containers, and remove any debris or clutter from around your home. Many buyers will preview a home from the outside before deciding whether or not to schedule a showing.

Homes for sale in Berkeley County, WV

When You Need to Improve Accessibility in Your Home

Imagine trying to do the most basic tasks in your home with impaired mobility. Would you be able to navigate the hallways in a wheelchair? Reach the bathroom counter from a sitting position? Would you be able to reach the front door?

Whether you are recovering from a serious illness or accident, or simply choosing to remain in your own home into your golden years, the key is not only making your home safe but also making it easy for you to continue living independently.

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

How to Improve the Accessibility of Your Home

Level Entry – Improve safety by installing a wheelchair ramp or adapting the floor plan to use a side or rear entrance that requires no stairs to access.

Safety Railings – Install railings on both sides of the stairway, extending from the very top step to the bottom.

Improve Lighting – Always keep stairways and entrances well lit. Consider adding luminescent paint or tape to stairs to make the edges of steps easy to see.

Turning Space – Reconfigure furniture placement to leave sufficient space to turn a wheelchair around, and ensure hallways and doorways are wide enough to navigate.

Remove Slip Hazards – Replace loose throw rugs and mats with sturdier, no-slip versions.

Knee Space – Adapt bathroom and kitchen counters by removing cabinets to allow for use with a wheelchair. See this aging-in-place remodeling checklist for more ideas.

Improve Grips – Replace round knobs with lever handles, or add rubber bands or handle grips to doorknobs to make them easier to grasp.

Add Grab Bars – Install grab bars and safety rails to assist with sitting and standing.

Switch Control Systems – Replace light switches with rocker switches that can be used with the whole hand, and add touch or voice sensors to lamps.

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

8 Steps to Prepare for Shifting to a Smaller Space

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

Shifting to a smaller space means scaling down your stuff. If you only have room for half or even a third of your belongings in your new space, some major downsizing is in order. Use these tips to make the process less intimidating and stressful:

Start Early – Give yourself three to six months to gradually scale down your stuff to avoid the temptation to pack up everything during the last-minute rush as you count down to moving day.

Avoid Overwhelm – Pace yourself! Set aside an hour or two every day to go through each drawer, closet and box to decide what to get rid of.

One Space at a Time – Instead of whirling through the entire house pulling things out of closets and dumping boxes, be systematic. Always finish one area before moving onto the next.

Sort Smart – Use the three-bin system: label three bins as “keep,” “sell” and “donate” to allow you to quickly organize items as you go through each room.

Be Ruthless – Think hard about what you actually need, especially in rooms like the kitchen that tend to accumulate duplicates. Then, purge everything else.

Plan Your Space – Get a copy of the new floor plan, and measure and place your furniture to see what you can realistically fit.

Donate to Charities – Find out what your favorite local charities will take as donations. Most list on their websites what they are currently in need of and what they absolutely do not want.

Sell What You Can – Take valuables to an antiques dealer or auction,list desirable everyday items online and hold a garage sale for smaller household goods. You might even turn a profit from your move!

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

8 Fantastical Futuristic Appliances

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

It wasn’t long ago that food replicators, holograms and computers that respond to your voice were the stuff of science fiction. These futuristic appliances are making that vision of the future a reality (although you’ll have to wait a while to get your hands on some of them).

3D Food Printer – Funded by NASA, the 3D Pizza Printer is intended for extended space travel and works by “printing” pizza building blocks from powder cartridges. Who knows what other kinds of food could be eventually printed?

Mini Dishwasher – Decidedly impractical for a family of four, this pint-sized power washer is just big enough for singles. It even recycles its own water!

Smart Refrigerator – Designed for the modern family, smart refrigerators are turning a formerly humble appliance into a multi-media food management hub with features like integrated apps, receipt scanning, expiration date monitoring and grocery list management.

Under-Cabinet Tech – Perfect for any high-tech kitchen, this modular under-cabinet system can be customized to fit your needs with accessories like plugs, lighting and tablet/smartphone holders.

iPhone Thermometer – For the griller in your family, the iCelsius turns your iPhone into a food inspection thermometer, displaying real-time temperature measurements.

Personal Microwave – Ideal for reheating small food items, this mini microwave weighs only 12 pounds and fits on your desk.

Learning Thermostat – For anyone who hates programming the thermostat, this smart alternative programs itself, learning your preferences and patterns as you adjust it.

Disappearing Range Hood – A must-have for every gourmet kitchen,the Jenn-Air Accolade range hood pops up from the countertop to clear the air and then disappears on command.

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV

5 Potential Gaps in Your Insurance Coverage

Did you know that despite the name, all-perils or comprehensive coverage insurance policies do not cover every possible risk?

Often homeowners need to add special addendums or supplement with a separate named perils policy to fill the gaps in their home insurance.

Better to find the gaps in your coverage now instead of when your claim is denied. Here are some options to consider.

Broad Coverage Exclusions — Check your current policy for specific exclusions. Common ones include war, earthquake, flood, hurricane,wear and tear, plumbing problems and government action.

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Limitations on Temporary Housing — Find out if there are limits on how much or how long your policy will cover temporary housing while you repair or rebuild your home.

Replacement Cost — Confirm your coverage is adequate in the event your home is completely destroyed; policies often place a cap on replacement cost. Find out from a local builder if there have been substantial increases in materials and labor costs.

Changes to Building Codes — Consider adding ordinance and law coverage to avoid situations in which you aren’t covered for required upgrades to undamaged parts of your home to meet the current building codes.

Extended Absence Coverage — Review your policy to find out if your extended vacation could potentially void your policy. You may need to take additional steps to protect against damage while you are away or obtain special unoccupied property insurance.

Homes for sale in Berkeley, WV