September 28, 2016

How to Move into Your Elite Home Like a Pro

Despite your excitement about your new Elite Built Home in Louisville, chances are you’re not as excited about the acutal moving part. The good news is that we have a few tips and tricks to help you get more involved without sacrificing the quality and efficiency of a professional mover.  As your big day starts approaching, here’s how you can be sure to move like a pro!

Ask Yourself these Questions:
  • When is the official move out date?
  • What can we live without and get rid of before the move?
  • What packing supplies do we need?
  • What needs to be canceled at current house and what needs to be set up at the new home: utilities, internet, address changes, doctors, etc.
  • What will we need immediately after the move?
Know your Timeline.  Moving isn’t an overnight process, so make it easier by starting to gradually remove junk and pack up smaller items a couple months out.

Remove the Junk. No matter how long you’ve been in your current home, you’ve most likely acquired a lot of “stuff.” Start going through each room and figure out what you can live without. Toss old items, hold a garage sale or donate them to a local organization.  The less you have to move, the better.

Snap Some Photos. Take quick photos of various TV/cable wires and other complicated assembly items to reference when you’re setting them back up in the new place.

Use Other Household Items to Help Pack. There are a lot of different items that you plan to take with you that can be used to help transport others. Use blankets and sheets to wrap picture frames and vases, while throwing spices and other kitchen items into trashcans, baskets or even crock-pots. They’ve all got to get to the new place somehow so why not multi-purpose them!

Buy and Resell Packing Materials. A lot of home improvement stores will have boxes for purchase, but try asking friends or other stores if they have some they’ve saved or need to dispose of. Websites like Craigslist also have free or inexpensive moving boxes available. When the move is over, break everything down and use the same resources to resell everything.  

Color Coordinate Rooms with Duct Tape. Aside from labeling ALL sides of the boxes, assign each room a colored duct tape to mark the boxes so it’s even easier to identify and organize once you’re unloading.

Don’t Overpack Boxes. You may be able to stuff A LOT into your boxes, but try to plan ahead by weight. Fill smaller boxes with heavier items so they stay about 50 lbs. or less, while trying to keep similar items together.

Separate Your First Day Essentials. Plan an overnight bag for each person that contains his or her specific toiletries and change of clothing. This bag is also a great place for laptops and other important electronics.  Anything else that you may need in the first 24 hours (i.e. trashbags, cookware, toilet paper, etc.) should be packed in a clear storage box so it sticks out from other boxes in the truck. It’ll be easy to find, so you’re prepared for the first night in your new home!

September 23, 2016

5 Home Improvements to Sell Your Home Faster

Not all home improvements are meant to be enjoyed as a homeowner as much as they’ll benefit you as a seller. But Elite Homes, a homebuilder in Louisville, Kentucky, is here to show you some upgrades that may not be elaborate, but they could make or break the sale of your home. Here are five home improvements can increase the value of your home. 

1. Bathroom Remodel.  Bathroom upgrades can provide as much as almost 80% returns.  This includes new countertops, faucets, light fixtures and other simple, but essential features. No need to splurge on fancy fixtures, but instead keep things neutral and classic to appeal to all types of buyer tastes.

2. Landscaping. Your yard is the first thing people see, so any improvement will be valuable.  When deciding what upgrades to make first, start from your curb and work your way to the front door. This mimics what the buyer will see first as they arrive and begin making their initial judgments. Small year round plants add nice appeal, while larger trees and shrubs also help with erosion and water run off. 

3. Exterior Improvements.  New siding makes a huge difference aesthetically, but more importantly protects your home. Certain materials like fiber-cement provide much more return on investment than vinyl, for example, which can crack, rot or fade. Swapping in new energy efficient windows is also big for buyers as they make a home feel warmer and save significantly on utilities overtime.

4. Attic or Basement Conversion.  Whether your goal is to convert the space into a bedroom for guests/in-laws or an area to entertain and relax, some new dry wall, floors and lighting can reap significant return on investment. 

5. Build a Deck or Porch. While these areas provide potential buyers the chance to envision themselves enjoying family cookouts and gatherings, they also offer a nice, seamless transition from the inside out.  These additions typically recoup about 85% of costs and can make a huge difference in the eyes of buyers who appreciate the bonus living space a nice outdoor area can provide.

If you’re ready to move into an Elite home, then start thinking about what your buyers may want so that you can sell your home in the near future! Some of these improvements may not be as valuable to you as they are to the next owners, so it’s important to see how noticing the difference can be more of a benefit when you’re ready to move.

September 15, 2016

Goodbye to Summer and Goodbye to Junk!

If you’re putting off any major new home cleanup at your Elite Home until spring rolls around in Louisville, you’re just adding to your workload.  Spring cleaning is old news; the best time to start cleaning is right now.  As the kids head back to the great schools around our communities, take advantage of the time to welcome the new season with a fresh start. Say goodbye to summer by saying goodbye to the junk! 

Old Binders and Folders
Unless you have some binders and notebooks from the past that can survive another year, make a clean sweep of your used materials before you replace them.  A new school year is a great excuse for new supplies, so before you go shopping, look into various donation options such as Home Depot’s recycling program.

Summer ClothesAny summer clothes that you didn’t really wear this year or are pretty worn out will most likely get replaced by next summer anyway.  While prioritizing your fall wardrobe in your closet, make space for new clothing by tossing or donating old shirts, shorts, bathing suits, flip flops, etc.

Beach/Pool Toys
These toys get a lot of use throughout the summer, so if they’re beat up, throw them out.  Any old pool noodles, broken shovels, deflating rafts and rusty beach chairs are easy to throw in storage and forget about them until next year, so throw them out! 

Running Shoes
Most sneakers get about 400-600 miles of walking or running before they’re spent. Look for signs like worn-down tread, ripped toes or thin sock-liners, and make the call if it’s time for them to go. Check out various recycling programs that will gladly take an old pair of your hands in order to help others who need them.

Plastic Tupperware
After so many uses, plastic containers can get discolored or warped.  They can also be easy to over-collect to the point where they’re just cluttering your kitchen. 

AC Filter
Your AC has been running all summer, so now it’s time to check and replace the filters for the upcoming year. The hot summer days of heavy AC use are over, so swap them out now.

Outdated Electronics
You may be hesitant to get rid of that tangled mess of old headphone wires and chargers, but when’s the last time you’ve really used them? If it’s been more than 6 months, it’s time to let go.  Same with old iPods, phones and other electronics that you have since replaced with newer models.

Why wait for a fresh start by putting off the inevitable. As the season changes and everyone is getting back into their busy routines, there’s no better time to say goodbye to the junk. So what are you waiting for?

September 8, 2016

Prepare Your Home for This School Year

Summer quickly came to an end here in Louisville and now school is underway! It’s not always an easy transition to get back on schedule, but there are ways you can better prepare yourself- and your home- for the rest of the year.  Try a couple of these organization tips to make hectic mornings and busy after school schedules a little more manageable. 

Clothing Organizers. Cut in half the amount of time it takes to get ready in the morning by setting your kids up with clothing organizers.  These simple closet buddies prompt kids to figure out what they’re going to wear the night before and have it ready to go for the next day. No more running around for a missing sock or their favorite t-shirt minutes before the bus leaves.

Create a Calendar Corner. This area will be the central hub for the organization of all assignments, after school activities, sports, etc.  Use white boards or chalkboards for easy revisions and color code by family member for easier organization. 

Prep the Kitchen. Especially in the first couple weeks of the school year, premade meals are going to be a lifesaver as you get back into a routine.  Plan meals and healthy after school snacks before the week starts. Store the meals in the freezer and have the snacks in a designated spot, so they know where to go when hunger strikes!

Stock Up on Extra School Supplies. Pencils, pens and notebooks will all go missing or break throughout the year.  Take precautionary measures and make sure your home is fully equipped with the essentials for when that time comes. 

Create a Homework Station. Especially as kids get older, it’s important for them to have a designated space to study and do homework that isn’t the dining room table.  Create a distraction-free space in a bedroom, living room or an office with a desk or bookcases and no TV!

Sweet Surprises Stash. A simple surprise may be all it takes to make a tough assignment and stressful test seem not so bad. Keep candies, post-its and other little surprises on-hand to stick in their backpacks and lunchboxes when they have a big day ahead.  Nothing like an afternoon sweet or pick-me-up note to get them through the day!

The start of another school year doesn’t have to be a struggle if you take advantage of a couple of these home organization tips.  Your kids may not be ready to let go of summer and go back to school, but at least your house will be!