Wayne Semprini's Blog
Even if you can’t travel far, it’s important to plan time to get away. Canceled plans don’t mean you can’t have any fun closer to home. Staycationing is the practice of enjoying vacation activities in your own town or nearby. It can be a simple, easily affordable and safe way to have fun and recharge with your family or loved ones. If you’re looking for some easy staycation ideas, here are some to get you started:
Go for a “Sunday Drive”
“Sunday driving” is an old tradition you can do any day of the week. Basically, the term refers to going for a drive with no particular schedule or destination. Some also call these scenic drives, but you don’t have to go anywhere far away to enjoy the sights. You might find that there are many scenic drives very close by! Pack some water, snacks, your favorite music and fill up the tank for a safe and relaxing adventure that will allow you to enjoy the sights at a safe social distance.
Camp In Your Backyard
Backyard camping is an excellent way to get away without leaving your own property. Set up a tent and space for hanging out in the yard with cozy staples from inside like throw pillows, blankets and even furniture. You can cook a meal outdoors on a camp stove or grill to get the camping experience with the benefit of your own kitchen nearby. Not only is this a very easy and comfortable way to staycation, it’s easy on the environment. You can use your own dishes and silverware rather than plastic or paper alternatives. You can also go inside to wash up or use the bathroom without worrying about managing waste water.
Escape Into Nature
You can combine the benefits of exercise and fresh air by staycationing in nature. Getting away from the house and exploring a hiking trail or bike path is a great way to refresh without risking travel. You can look up local parks and recreation areas to see if hiking trails are open for visitors or pick a driving destination for a deeper trip into nature. While you might encounter others on your adventure, you can still avoid crowded places and other risks of travel. You also have the opportunity to combine your trip with other hobbies like photography, birdwatching or geocaching.
Travel the World… In Your Kitchen!
One of the best things about traveling to unknown places is trying the food. Luckily, you can still get some of the same experience in your own home. Look online for traditional staple meals from other cultures or even just other cities—then try to make them yourself! Even if you don’t get an opportunity to experience the “real” thing for a while, you will enjoy the challenge of cooking and trying something brand new. If you have a family or housemates, get everybody involved in the process for an excellent communal activity. Maybe you will discover a new favorite homemade meal.
It’s more important than ever to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Planning time away from home or even just your home office is important for your health and happiness even if you can’t go on your dream vacation. These are just a few of the great staycation options you can plan to refresh, recharge and enjoy your local area.
When everyday people consider home remodeling ideas, kitchens often top the list for a wide range of reasons. Home chefs often want to integrate kitchen remodeling ideas to improve space efficiency. Some want to better accommodate friends and family members who enjoy the most-used space in the household. No matter your reasons for wanting to make changes, these are hot-trending kitchen remodeling ideas worth considering.
1: Kitchen Cabinet Efficiency and Appearance
Working families are expected to re-imagine standard kitchen cabinets. Many traditional designs prove limiting because they don't go all the way to the ceiling. Leaving that space empty above cabinets or covering it with wide trim does not necessarily maximize storage space.
Utilizing that upper space allows people to store under-used items. You may need a foldable kitchen step-tool to reach the height, but that tends to be more convenient than cluttering floor-level storage areas.
On the aesthetic front, natural wood finishes and soft colors are expected to trend high. The popular remodeling ideas involve sleek natural wood or soft country-styled cabinets without exposed hardware. This can be accomplished with finger seams under the drawer or cabinet front panel.
2: Walk-In Pantries Popular Among 2021 Remodeling Ideas
Many large kitchens do not maximize the potential use of space. In such cases, building a wall that effectively creates a secure panty proves relatively inexpensive. And compared to the tremendous storage gains, that investment can be money well-spent.
This same strategy holds true in layouts with a smaller kitchen and an adjacent room. Installing a doorway in the kitchen area and putting up a partition in the abutting room can achieve the same purpose. In terms of investment and resale value, buyers may find this use of square footage more attractive than passive living space.
3: Flooring Priorities
Kitchens typically experience the most foot traffic of any room in the household. People generally gather to talk, enjoy morning coffee, walk through for quick snacks and prepare the majority of meals in the kitchen. Its stands to reason the flooring experiences more wear and tear than other rooms as well. When selecting a specific flooring material, ask yourself the following questions.
- Will the material stand up to water?
- Can the materials withstand hard impacts?
- How long will the flooring last, based on anticipated foot traffic?
- Is the flooring product easy to sweep and scrub?
- Do the design and color accentuate other decor elements?
In 2021, flooring products such as engineered vinyl plank and porcelain tiles appear to be making a strong push. The relatively new vinyl plank products closely resemble hardwood flooring and are considered waterproof. This product provides a cushioned feeling under your feet and remains less expensive than most hardwood. Today's porcelain tile products rank among the more durable, easy to clean and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. This facet provides increased design flexibility when considering kitchen remodeling ideas.
Making your dream kitchen a reality involves spending wisely and considering the latest remodeling ideas. If a kitchen upgrade is at the top of your home improvement list, it may be in your best interest to discuss your options with a kitchen remodeling professional.
You may have a rough idea of what your home is worth. Maybe you have recently been given an assessed value on the home, or have peeked on an online search as to what comes up for your home. Do you really understand all of the things that affect the value of your home? There are many things that may not be obvious but are important to the number that you’ll come to when you decide to sell your home.
The Number Of Your House
Do you live at 13 Elm Street or 7 Winner’s Way? Buyers have superstitions that surround numbers and street names. Don’t be surprised if the number of your house or even the name of your street brings buyers in or sends them running. There’s not much you can do to change the house number or street name, but it’s something to keep in mind. Sometimes the reason that certain buyers are turned off from your house is truly out of your control. If you do live on a desirable street, that can help bring up the value of your home due to the demand in the area. Remember that what some consider “unlucky” others consider a blessing (like the number 13!)
While your home may be perfectly pristine, you don’t have much control over what your neighbors do. If there are neighbors nearby that have strange items in their yards, strange colored homes, or other eccentric tastes, buyers may be turned off from your home. This could actually cause the price of your home to drop slightly. You should be prepared for this to affect the sale of your home, but don’t be discouraged. If buyers enjoy your home enough, they’ll be able to turn off that all too bright paint color next door.
Trees and greenery increase the value of a home. Don’t think of cutting down those trees on your property unless you have to! Trees that have grown up on your property will add a lot of value to the home in the future. If you’ve been living at your residence for 20 years or so, think of the value that those first seeds and bushes you planted have added!
Interests Are Not Universal
If you have displays, shrines, or rooms dedicated to a certain hobby, it could either be beneficial or detrimental to your home sale. This all depends on who comes walking through the door for a home showing. If you’re a Veteran and have some Marine Corps things around the houses, it could attract the attention of other Vets. However, that strange Marilyn Monroe room you have might actually deter from the pool of people available to buy your home. Buyers like to be able to see themselves living in the home. Some circumstances make it easier than others for buyers to have a vision for themselves in your home.
Your real estate agent will ready your description for listing. But only you know your home the way its next owner will come to know it. Here's how to give your realtor that knowledge.
Meet Your Buyer Through Your Home Description
Many descriptions have similar text, and could apply to a whole neighborhood. Buyers want an idea of what it's like to live in your home. What's your home's relationship to the neighborhood's best perks? For example: What grocery store is within walking distance? Can the route be enjoyably walked?
Each home, no matter how modest, has unique traits that will endear it to the right home shopper. Sure, talk up that kitchen renovation or your new AC, if you have them. But personalize the heart of your description:
- Does a south-facing window stream glorious sunshine into your home every day?
- Does your garden attract butterflies and bees from season to season?
You get the picture. So paint it. Let that perfect audience respond, "Wow. This sounds perfect for me."
What Not to Say When Describing Your Home for Sale
Omit basic data from your description (footage, bedrooms, baths). Those facts already appear in the listing fields. Use your word limit to show off your home's personality instead. At the same time, avoid anything that could oversell your home's features. Be charming, yet be real!
Avoid generalizations. If a certain room is unusually spacious, point that out. Overall, though, your footage and listing price speak for themselves. Rather than announcing an "updated" kitchen or bathroom, specify the enhancement. Let your potential buyers quickly grasp the value of the work you've done.
Avoid even the appearance of exclusivity. Sellers' language, by law, must not discourage buyers on account of their of nationality, race or religion, disability, gender or family status.
Finally, check your description for errors or overused words. Thoughtfulness is the key.
Ready to List, With a Description That Intrigues
Remember to connect the home to its surrounding benefits. Does the property have a nearby walking and cycling trail? Is it near a wonderful park or farmers' market?
As for the interior, think of the aspects that aren't obvious in your photos. Does the new, granite countertop have ogee edges? Is the floor stone imported from Italy? Specify brand names and materials. Your realtor can tag your photos with features, engaging the visual buyer.
What's next? Your real estate agent will handle all final edits, ready the listing, and intrigue that perfect buyer!
Since there are so many things to keep in mind when searching for the right home, it can be very helpful to create a priority list. If you're at the beginning of the house-hunting process, one of the best ways to clarify your thoughts is by organizing them in a notebook or on a computer screen.
As is the case with creating any kind of plan, you need to start with the basics and then branch out from there. While a house-hunting plan can and should change as you proceed forward, once you start visiting listings, your insights will begin to deepen. If you happen to be working with an experienced real estate agent, they will help you refine your search and zero-in on listings that are the best match to your needs.
Although you probably already know how many bedrooms and bathrooms you want, it may be time to come up with a more specific picture of what you're looking for, in terms of square footage, lot size, neighborhood walkability, and distance from neighbors.
As you revise your list of requirements, you may decide to rank the importance of items like a screened-in porch, a backyard patio, a wood-burning fireplace, yard size, the age of the house, and whether you'd like a finished basement or attic.
Many people prioritize the size, layout, and functionality of the kitchen, too, so take into consideration your decorating tastes, the size of your family -- both today and five years from now -- and how often you expect to be entertaining guests. Perusing kitchen layouts and remodeling ideas online can help you clarify the type of counters, flooring, appliances, and cabinets that would please you the most.
Other features that will determine your level of satisfaction with a new home may include the architectural style of the house, the quality of the school district, and various convenience factors, such as nearby grocery stores, public parks, and medical/dental services. Commuting time to your job or business can also have a huge impact on your lifestyle, as well as your weekly budget and personal stress level! When choosing a neighborhood in which you'll feel comfortable, you'll also want to pay attention to first impressions, the amount of traffic on the street, and miscellaneous noises you hear while visiting the neighborhood.
Above all, try to avoid making snap decisions based on emotional factors, time constraints, or the fear of not being able to find "anything better." Although there may be days in which the prospects seem slim, it's essential that you maintain a positive outlook and be confident that new listings and fresh possibilities are always cropping up. Working with a seasoned buyer's agent who's familiar with the local market and is responsive to your needs will also help immeasurably in your search for the perfect new home!