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Home Expert Advice

Modern Kitchen Marble Counters: How Much Value Will They Add To Your Home?

Interior design is an activity that any homeowner generally enjoys doing. From choosing the right type of furniture to arranging the elements in the house, designing the home is not only satisfying but also value-adding. It’s the exact same case with kitchen marble counters – they can instantly bring up the elegance and value of any home.

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For a lot of people, the heart of the home is the kitchen. Some homeowners entertain their guests in an open-type kitchen where they can cook for their friends and family and still be able to talk to them. In this kind of purpose, it’s important for your kitchen to look classy, comfortable, and functional – all at the same time!

A Countertop Adds Value To Your Kitchen

You may need to spend a significant amount if you want to have a fancy kitchen. Aside from kitchen appliances, the perfect countertop should be part of your kitchen upgrade plans.

Adding a kitchen countertop can increase the value of your home by at least 20%. New homebuyers are not only focused on how big the house is, but also interested to buy a house with exceptional design. Putting a good countertop will already boost the resale value of your home, in case you plan on selling your house in the future.

Choosing the Perfect Kitchen Marble Counter

Marble is one of the most popular kitchen countertop materials in the market. What’s great about this kind of material is that it’s available in a wide variety of colors and designs.

The prices of marble countertops differ according to quality and design. Econgranite marble countertops, for instance, use high-quality marble in various colors that customers can pick from.

Here are some of the most beautiful marble countertop designs that you may find perfect for your kitchen needs:

  • Vein Cut
  • Thassos Marble (no veins)
  • White Himalaya Marble (fewer veins with a hint of brown, purple, or gold)
  • China Black Marble (more intense white)
  • Fantasy Black Marble (dark background with grey wavy veins)

How To Maintain Your Marble Countertop

No matter how beautiful your house is, it’s not going to last like that if you do not make it a habit to clean and maintain it. Therefore, make sure to do the following tips to keep the beauty of your marble countertops:

  • Add a sealant onto your marble counters to ensure that no moisture can get through it.
  • When you spill vinegar, citrus juices, and other acid solutions onto the marble countertop, clean it as soon as possible. Acids may leave a permanent stain on your countertop, and it’s not going to look pretty if you use white marble.
  • Use a damp sponge when cleaning the countertop. Ensure that you have taken off any rough debris that may scratch the marble, before wiping off the surface.
  • If you happen to notice a stubborn stain on your marble counter, use a poultice paste by spreading it on the stain and covering it with a plastic for 12-24 hours. When it’s dry, scrape off the paste and wipe off with a damp cloth.
  • Because marble is a soft kind of stone, don’t slam or hit the surface hard with any material. Doing so may chip or crack the marble materials, especially near the edges.

Of all kinds of stones used for kitchen countertops, marble is the most popular choice because of its affordability, heat resistance, longevity, and variation in color and design. With these reasons, you can be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth. Just make sure that you know how to keep it clean and free from liquid solutions that may affect the quality of the stone.

3 Types Of Home Damage That Can Destroy Your Property Value

3 Types Of Home Damage That Can Destroy Your Property Value

Your home’s equity may be a major asset, and you understandably want to protect this asset over the years. As your property value increases and your mortgage balance is reduced, the equity will grow.

However, there are some relatively common types of property damage that could result in a sudden and steep decline in your property value. These are some of the more significant types of property damage that may affect your home’s equity over the years.

Water and Mold Damage

Water damage is most often associated with a major flood, but it can also be caused by a leaking pipe, a damaged appliance and other factors. Any sign of moisture in the home should be addressed by a professional as soon as possible.

Mold growth can begin quickly, and it can increase the cost of repair work. Mold can also be dangerous for you and others to come in contact with. Because of the stigma surrounding water and mold damage, many buyers will not even consider buying a home that has been affected by these elements.

Pest Damage

Pests love to take up residence in your home. This includes pests like termites, bed bugs, carpenter ants and more. Some of these pests destroy the home, and others can cause serious illness to the home’s occupants.

Squirrels, rats and other critters may also enter the space. These bothersome pests can chew wires to cause a house fire. They can destroy insulation, chew support beams and spread serious and even deadly illnesses. Regular servicing from places like Premier Termite & Pest Control is an excellent way to reduce the chance of any type of pest infestation.

Foundation Damage

The condition of your entire home’s structure is based on the foundation that it rests on. Foundations can be damaged by excessive erosion, soil settlement, earthquakes and many other factors.

Many people are not aware that they have a foundation problem until after they list their property for sale. This means that the foundation issue may have grown and become even more significant because it was not addressed quickly. Scheduling an annual foundation inspection is a great way to reduce the chance of having serious foundation issues.

Keeping your home well-maintained requires your regular attention and the services of various skilled professionals. Now that you understand more about the many types of damaging forces that could detract from your property value, you can take preventive steps to protect your home and your property value from damage.

Staging homes for sale without spending a fortune

Staging homes for sale without spending a fortune

Most professionals in the business understand that Realtors whose goal is to sell a house usually fail. Realtors whose goal is to sell a home, however, are more likely to close the deal every time.

The difference between those two strategies often lies in staging an open house – simple tactics for making that house look comfortable, giving potential buyers a glimpse of what it might look like once they've moved in. It can be something as simple as putting in some attractive furniture, paintings on the wall and photographs on the coffee table, and the ever-present plate of freshly-baked cookies on the counter.

Staging is extremely common, with the National Association of Realtors reporting that 38 percent of sellers' agents said they stage homes prior to listing, and it can have a serious bottom-line impact. Twenty-nine percent of sellers' agents said that the dollar value offered by buyers increased between one and five percent for staged homes, and 39 percent said that staging decreases the amount of time the home stays on the market before selling.

The cookie phenomenon

Every Realtor knows this trick and most still use it: Place a tray of fresh-baked cookies on the counter for guests at an open house. Stagers claim that the presence of cookies are more than snacks, they create a sensory experience with a pleasant scent, and create a welcoming effect.

But when the cookies are an afterthought, their impact may be lost. Packaged grocery store cookies are just a snack, and nothing more. Cookies you've just baked in the oven are better (although you face the downside of a hurried clean-up process before the first guest shows up). Even better is to serve cookies which reflect the neighborhood and are sourced from a local favorite shop that your guests are likely to already be familiar with.

Greenwich, Connecticut, one of the most desirable real estate destinations in the country with a median home value of $1,327,600, serves as a wonderful example of the importance of staging. There's a lot at stake with prices that high, and Realtors in this area go out of their way to make sure every detail is perfect. Cookies aren't just cookies. They are an emotional connection, according to Molly Hirschel, co-founder of Something Natural, a popular and well-known sandwich and bakery shop in Greenwich. The iconic shop has been a Nantucket legend for decades, and a source of pleasant memories for anyone visiting the island. Those looking to buy a home in Greenwich have more than likely visited Nantucket more than a few times, and chances are, they have visited the Nantucket store.

Serving cookies from a destination shop like Something Natural goes beyond simply setting out delicious cookies – it brings up those pleasant memories of summer vacations on Nantucket Island, childhood delights, and family gatherings. That's the cookie phenomenon at its best. "Public open house guests need to feel welcomed, and real estate agents understand the need to make a house feel like a home from the very moment those guests walk in the door," said Molly, who says the Greenwich Something Natural provides their famous oversized cookie platters for Greenwich area realtors conducting public open houses. Molly says Something Natural’s sandwich and cookie platters are most popular with the realtor-only open houses.

Staging on a budget

While Realtors specializing in high-end, multi-million dollar homes often spare no expense in staging, the practice can still benefit ordinary, middle-class homes without having to spend too much on the process. Even the basics can improve the sales process, and the most common staging practices are fairly ordinary – decluttering the home, cleaning it from top to bottom, and cleaning the carpets.

A few more exciting staging tricks – which again don't have to cost too much – include approaching the open house as a party rather than simply a showing, a tactic more often used for Realtor-only open houses. Background music (not too loud), catering, and maybe even a little Chardonnay will make it seem more festive. Of course, there's a balance if you go with the party approach. Think more sophisticated cocktail party and less college dorm room kegger.

Don't forget the outside of the house – you don't have to bring in a professional landscaper, but a little attention to the flower garden and lawn will go a long way.

For the windows, the good news here is that you don't have to invest in draperies and curtains. They may not match with the potential buyer's taste, and they block out the sun. It's better to have plain (cleaned) windows without curtains, to let in the maximum amount of sunlight.

What about pets? Keeping them out of the house during showings is essential, no matter how cute they are. Be aware that your house may retain some pet scents which you are immune to and don't notice. You can get rid of these scents with a quick cleaning, sprinkling some pet carpet freshener on the carpet before sweeping, or something as simple as boiling a few cut lemons in a pot of water before the showing. Stay away from heavy scented candles or incense.

For homes that may have smaller rooms, you can make them look bigger easily. The kitchen is especially important, and if you have a smaller kitchen, be sure to remove appliances from the counter to make it look less cluttered. And you can buy an inexpensive kitchen island on wheels with a nice wood countertop for a couple hundred dollars, for an instant upgrade in counter space.

Even a beautiful, million-dollar home can be made to look better with something as simple as clean windows, a well-lit living room and a tray of recognizable treats from a neighborhood shop. It doesn't just make the sale easier – it may just increase the selling price. That plate of cookies may be the best investment you've ever made!

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We would be glad to help you look for the perfect property. If you would like to contact us by phone please call us at 865-206-2820. Want us to do the work for you? Let us know what type of property you are looking for and the area or lake you prefer. Steve and I are very familiar with the properties on the lakes in East Tennessee. We have lived here for over 20 years. 

 If you do decide to work with us, we would be glad to pay up to $300 for your home inspection. We will reimburse you at closing. 

Thank you

Kimberly CargillWax










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Kimberly & Steve Wax
Cell: 865-206-2820
Office: 865-777-9191

KimberlyWax@msn.com

Gables & Gates, REALTORS®
11800 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934