6 Tips to revamp your outdoor space for Summer

Whether you are social distancing or having company over, you are bound to be making some use out of your backyard this summer. Here are some tips on how to revamp your outdoor space!

Maintain landscape
It might sound obvious, but having a kept lawn is the first step towards functionality and a clean cut foundation. Xeriscape is a great cost effective alternative that all utilizes vegetation while requiring considerably much less water and effort to upkeep. 

Gardening
Whether it’s vegetables or flowers, taking some time to garden can be as rewarding as it is enjoyable. Hanging plants are a viable option if you are limited on space, or create a vertical garden by drilling planter pots into a wooden pallet and lean it against your siding or fence. Add a water fountain for some extra decor, or DIY your own using galvanized buckets or watering cans.

Give the framework a face-lift
Clean off and consider painting the cement on your front or back porch or lay out an outdoor rug. Sand off rust from railings and take a day to stain your deck if you have one.

Lighting
In addition to your standard porch and garage lights, there are endless ways to illuminate your outdoor space to use it further into the evening. Create some ambiance with fairy lights, candles or torches; real or fake. Solar lights come in wide style varieties and rope lights can be used to create or outline a path.

Furnishings
Patio furniture is not just great for entertaining guests, but also expands your functional quarters. From a simple table and umbrella to a full outdoor dining set you can enjoy the nice weather and a home cooked meal simultaneously. Set up a station to grill and utilize a portable bar or an inexpensive kitchen cart for serving snacks and drinks. There are also several ways to build your own seating and tables with scrap pieces or up-cycling old furniture.

Entertainment
Storable games are a hit for entertaining guests, such as horseshoes and corn-hole. Set up a backyard theater with comfy seating, a projector, and a screen or white sheet tacked up to the roof. Create a warm place to gather at night with a store bought fire pit or DIY your own with easy to find supplies such as cinder blocks. Aside from already having an above ground or in-ground pool, you can build a small pool area with a stock tank or for a more advanced challenge with wooden pallets.

5 Steps Towards A Usable Garage

With the nice weather finally breaking you might find yourself eager to move your spring cleaning project outside of your main home. The garage is somewhat a removed space; out of sight, out of mind but accumulates clutter quickly! Tackling storage central may seem like an overwhelming undertaking, but knowing where to start can help alleviate the stress.

1.Clear and clean first – Take everything out of the garage to start. Once empty, thoroughly clean the floor, ceiling, walls, and any built in shelving.

2.Scrub, sweep and survey – Scrub down grime from the floor and walls, and use a broom to know down cobwebs from rafters and light fixtures. Sweep debris from the furthest point inside towards the door and outside. Check outlets and electrical appliances, change out light-bulbs if necessary.

3.Paint the floor – A couple fresh paint coats will fill in any cracks and ensure a longer life of the concrete base.

4.Keep and go piles – Taking inventory of everything pulled out, separate items that you know you want to keep first, followed by what can be donated or thrown away.

5.Organize while putting it all back – Use existing shelving or install a new unit to keep items off of the floor. Aim to keep long term storage items furthest in the back, and more frequently used or seasonal items up front. Keep up with putting things back where they came after use and avoid another massive overhaul!

Your guide to seasonal home maintenance

Your guide to seasonal home maintenance

As a homeowner, you should begin every season with some preventative home maintenance measures. Here are some interesting tips we recently came across courtesy of realestatebook.com:

Let’s start with winter, since that’s the season we recently entered, and some easy indoor tips. Check grout and drains in the bathroom, and repair as needed. Grease noisy door hinges and sticking locks, and travel down to the basement for cleaning and an overall inspection. Finally, reinforce leaky seals around doors and windows.

When spring arrives, check your home’s exterior for holes in brick, cracks in siding or other damage, and inspect the foundation for cracks. Silicone caulking can repair many minor issues. Also, inspect your roof and while you’re up there, clean out the gutters. Have your air conditioning unit services so it’s ready for summer.

In the summer months, stay on top of pest control and inspect the deck and/or patio. Check your exterior vents and clear them out if needed. Also, look for plumbing issues such as leaky pipes or poor water pressure.

And finally, during the fall season, keep up with leaf raking to avoid killing your grass, and have your furnace serviced for winter. Cover your A/C unit to protect it from the elements, and have your chimney cleaned if you have a fireplace.

These are just some basic tips to get you started. Feel free to add on depending on your overall comfort level with maintenance projects.

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

Tips for sellers: Upgrade the kitchen, downgrade the personal stuff

NEW OLEAR BANNERWhile the key to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, the key to selling a home is often through the kitchen!

Do your countertops appear outdated? How about your appliances? If you answered yes, then it’s probably a good idea to spend a few dollars for an upgrade before putting the home on the market. How do the walls look? A fresh coat of paint in a neutral color can also go a long way. Fortunately, of the money you spend to freshen up the kitchen, you’ll probably get 85 percent of it back in the sale price … not to mention the other benefit of a quicker sale.

Another tip to help sell your home more quickly is to remove a lot of your personal items — such as family photos and heirlooms — so that potential homebuyers can easily picture themselves living there. You may also want to enlist the help of a professional home stager for pointers on getting the full value of your home when you decide to stick the “for sale” sign in the ground.

The Olear Team is extremely knowledgeable of the home selling process and can share numerous tips that will help ensure a quick and profitable sale. Please contact us today for more information!

Don’t let foul odors turn your sale sour

Don’t let foul odors turn your sale sour

NEW OLEAR BANNERYou’ve had your eye on a particular house for ages, and suddenly you see a for sale sign on the front lawn. All is good in the world … until you step inside and are unpleasantly blindsided by foul odors that can turn a sweet sale sour in the blink of an eye.

The causes can be numerous: a poorly trained pooch or kitty, sweaty sports equipment, foul foods, garbage that should have been taken to the curb days ago or even a stinky sink. Some fixes are easy, while others might take some time and effort to repair.

If you’re the seller in this case, before you put your home on the market, ask a friend or relative to stop by and conduct a smell test. Have them walk through the entire house to see if they get a whiff of anything on the unpleasant side. And if that’s the case, take measures to eliminate the cause asap. It could very well be a simple fix such as opening the windows to air out the house or taking out the garbage a day or two ahead of schedule.

Pet odors can be a little more difficult. There are sprays on the market that could help, but you may be better off replacing or removing a soiled rug or carpet if your pet has had multiple accidents.

The same goes for the buyer. If you notice something in the air that’s just not right, be sure to discuss it with your Realtor who has likely dealt with similar experiences on more than one occasion. WIth any luck, the fix will be quick and painless and will not foul up a potential sale.

For more information on preparing your home prior to the sale, please contact The Olear Team today!

Entire neighborhoods, home sellers, benefit from the efforts of nonprofit organizations

Entire neighborhoods, home sellers, benefit from the efforts of nonprofit organizations

NEW Olear cover photoPreparing your home for sale may entail a little elbow grease to get the place into tip-top shape, or pretty close to it. But some of those repairs may require expensive tools that you don’t have and simply don’t want to invest in. There is an alternative — the University Heights Tool Library!

According to its website — www.thetoollibrary.org — the Tool Library is a nonprofit program set up to lend tools out to community members to help them maintain and fix up their homes and gardens. Tools can range anywhere from hammers, screwdrivers and shovels to power drills, circular saws and sanders. Open to homeowners and renters in Buffalo and surrounding areas, annual membership in this innovative community beautification program is just $10!

And speaking of the University Heights neighborhood, the University Heights Collaborative is another community based group of residents working together to maintain and enhance the quality of life in their neighborhood. Organizational committees include beautification, business involvement, communication, Neighborhood Watch and landlord outreach. More information can be found on their website at http://ourheights.org.

Western New York is fortunate to have such progressive community organizations that truly take an interest in keeping our neighborhoods beautiful by fostering cooperation and collaboration among neighbors. When everyone pitches in, everyone wins, and housing prices increase as a result!

For more information on readying your house for sale, please contact The Olear Team today!