10 Quick Tips On Curb Appeal

Curb appeal is the first impression of your home especially when you are trying to sell it. Make it count and woo in buyers to come inside. I know you are probably thinking curb appeal is the last thing on your mind. Why should you spend any time on the outside when the inside is good enough?

Because the first impression people make is the one they will stick with. Buyers make an opinion within 8-10 seconds of seeing the home. When they pull up to the home, the curb appeal is the first thing they see.

And if the outside isn’t taken care of, then what makes the buyer think the inside is well maintained? So here are 10 tips on how you can make a great first impression with your curb appeal

1. Mow the lawn – Tall grass is an indication that you no longer live there or don’t care. Either one is bad. If you had to move out before selling your home, have a lawn service come over weekly to keep the grounds maintained.

2. Mulch beds – If you have flower beds in the front of your home, rake up the mulch so it looks fresh. Make sure the mulch has not receded to the point of showing bare ground. Add more if needed.

3. Get rid of weeds – Weeding can be an almost weekly chore, but it makes such a difference if you have a beautiful garden. Weeds are like clutter in a garden. Pick them out to show off the plants and shrubs.

4. Power wash sidewalks/house – Hire out or rent a power washer to get your sidewalks and siding cleaned. It is the easiest way to freshen up the outside without painting. Just like you scrubbed those kitchen counters and stove, the sidewalk and siding need that same elbow grease.

5. Cut shrubs back away from the house – I’ve seen many houses where the shrubs are planted right next to the house and they seem to swallow up the home! Cut them back so that you can actually see the house. If you have tall trees in front of the house, lift the tree canopy by cutting the lower limbs so you can see the home as well.

6. Remove cobwebs and insect homes (wasp nests) – Walk around your home and sweep away the cobwebs. If you power wash your home, you may have already gotten them. Pay particular attention to any potential wasp nests under the eaves and remove them. Not only will it help clean up the house, but you don’t have to worry about getting stung later. If you have an infestation, call a professional to remove them right away.

7. Sweep/wash the porch – If you have a porch or an alcove to the front door, dirt and dust can accumulate here too. Make the front door area welcoming by adding a plant holder with a potted plant or a colorful chair.

8. House numbers need to be visible – Nothing is more frustrating than looking for house numbers. Be sure to put the numbers on the door or just beside it. Make sure your mailbox has numbers on it too. If there is no mailbox and your house is hidden behind some trees, add a post at the end of the driveway and screw numbers to the post. That way, there is no confusion on the address.

9. Front door stands out – You would be amazed at how many homes have multiple doors on the front of the house. Make sure there is a clear path to the front door and nothing hides it like bushes or potted plants. Give your front door a fresh coat of paint if it needs it.

10. Fix broken items (solar lights, steps, screen) – I see this all the time. Solar lights installed along the walkway but they are missing tops, fell over or have been stepped on by the dog. Fix them or remove them.

Again we are trying to woo the buyer into coming into the home. If they have to walk through a jungle to get to the front, it could scare them away. Polish up that curb appeal and you will be on your way to moving out quickly.

Tips to Choose Perfect Serviced Apartments

Serviced apartments are preferred mode of accommodation, for families on a long vacation, business men who travel on work, for people who move into larger cities for medical care and prolonged treatments, for parents who move into cities for training or education of their siblings and as a temporary accommodation before you move into a renovated or a new house. The serviced apartments score high when compared to a hotel because it gives a feeling of a home away from home, for which a proper match of, our needs and services provided in the apartment is a prerequisite. Take care of:

Location

Location of the Serviced apartment is important. The serviced apartments are usually, situated in the centre of the city so that it will be easy to commute for students and businessmen who need to travel often. But, this might not be an ideal location for people who are looking for long lazy holiday to rejuvenate themselves and for people who enjoy picturesque places. In case of medical tourists, a quiet place in proximity to the hospital is suitable. Therefore, need determines the location.

Amenities

It is imperative to collect a list of all amenities available like availability of air conditioner, geyser, kitchen appliances, refrigerator, couch, cot, foldable bed and other amenities like 24hrs water supply, WIFI facilities, well manned front desk, round the clock security, intercom facilities for room service, laundry facilities etc. Checkout, whether, the cost for these amenities are already added to your rent. Make a list of amenities for which you need to pay, decide if those services are needed and then opt for it.

Flexibility in house -keeping services

House keeping services can make or mar your peace. If the house keeping services are going to be rigid and restricted to fixed timings, it would definitely be detrimental to your freedom to move out when you are on a holiday. One should also ensure that washing utensils is also included in the house keeping services if cooking your own food is in the agenda.

Food

If you plan to cook, clarify that the kitchen is fully equipped with utensils you need to cook and to serve. If the apartment is annexed to a hotel (aparthotel), problem of locating an eatery is put to rest. However, verify if room service is available. It is better to select an apartment with at least a cafeteria so that it saves you the trouble of locating a café for your coffee or tea early in the morning, if you are dependent on food from outside.

Budget

Take stock of your needs and see at what price it comes to you for the length of the stay. It would be better to compare it with the other serviced apartments in the locality you prefer and then take a wise decision.

Serviced apartments which match your needs at affordable cost with good security and transport facilities can make your life easy during your stay.

St Lucia Real Estate Tips: 5 Ways for Green Living on the Caribbean Island

St Lucia’s rich biodiversity and natural beauty play a significant role in the island’s culture and economy. The island’s 2 major industries, tourism and agriculture, both depend on sustainable environmental practices. In 2004 the Pitons were inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their outstanding beauty and unique ecology. Environmental awareness is therefore a crucial part of life in St Lucia. Every human interaction with nature leaves behind an indelible fingerprint. When building a home in St Lucia you should be vigilant to minimize the impact on the environment. Here are 5 easy ways in which you can do so.

Do not clear land indiscriminately. Before starting construction, consider how your home will impact the tree cover in the area. St Lucia is a heavily vegetated country. The prevalence and variety of trees is one of the things which makes the island unique. Save as many mature trees as possible. Incorporate existing foliage into the design and layout of your house. This ensures that the island remains green. Mature trees also add majesty and beauty, while keeping a property cool.

Use renewable energy. Sunlight and wind are two of St Lucia’s most abundant natural resources. It is now possible to have one’s home completely powered by solar panels and wind turbines. Whether you use wind, solar or a combination of the two depends on the location of your home. For instance, home sites on the island’s east coast have a constant Atlantic breeze, and are well placed to utilize wind power. While solar or wind power will increase your construction costs, it will eliminate utility bills in the future. In St Lucia, electricity is the most costly utility and the savings will add up in the long run. Renewable energy also reduces the burning of fossil fuel and helps to keep the air clean while reducing the island’s carbon footprint.

Harvest rain water. St Lucia has approximately 2000 mm of annual rainfall. Using drainage systems, it is easy to collect rainwater, which is stored in tanks or underground cisterns. This helps conserve the island’s public water supply. It also ensures that you have a backup if there are shortages after a hurricane.

Maximize natural ventilation to minimize cooling costs. In St Lucia, air conditioning units are major culprits when it comes to high energy usage. Keeping your house naturally cool will significantly reduce your consumption of electricity. High ceilings, large windows, insulated roofs and cross ventilation are just a few ways in which your house can be designed to remain cool. Many homes in St Lucia are located on elevated hillsides where there is a constant breeze. A well ventilated house can eliminate (or at least greatly reduce) the need for air conditioning. (Besides the practical benefits, high ceilings and large windows are great for admiring those amazing St Lucian vistas!)

Grow a kitchen garden. Gardens flourish in St Lucia’s rich, volcanic soil and tropical weather. It is common for backyards to be laden with tropical foods such as mangoes, guavas, dasheen or breadfruit. Eat your own organic, delicious fruit, vegetables and herbs grown right in your back yard! Once you’ve gotten your garden started it’s easy to maintain. The prevalence of backyard gardening helps ensure the island’s food security and preserves the indigenous foliage. The rewards are delicious and good for both you and the environment!

These are just a handful of ways to live a nature friendly lifestyle if you have decided to buy St Lucia real estate. The island is loved for its lush, green beauty. Everyone in the country must play their part to maintain this. Cautious real estate development can enhance rather than diminish the island’s natural environment. Energy efficiency is also a great investment as it will make your home more appealing to buyers should you ever decide to sell.

Tips To Get The Perfect Tenant Mix for Your Retail Property

The ultimate goal for any landlord is to achieve maximum income from their retail property. However, that does not imply that they must lose focus on the bigger picture and let their space to any retailer who is interested in the property. Maintaining the perfect tenant mix in the property leads to increased foot traffic, greater spend, delighted tenants and ultimately more demand and better rates for the property.

Read on to find out the five ways to create the ultimate blend of tenants for a retail center.

Study the demographics of the environment

The demographics of the nearby locations play a vital role in determining what kind of retailers will best tick among the shoppers. Conduct surveys and collect information pertaining to what your target customers would like to see in the area around them. For instance, pharmacy stores may be a valuable addition for an aging population.

Talk to your existing tenants

Existing retail tenants may be a good source of providing insight into what brands and products can add more value to their own store and ultimately to the landlord. Analyze the performance of the stores and take a deeper look into their strengths and weakness and build ways to overcome or enhance them.

Mix brands and categories

A retail center that draws a balance between the big and the small brands and has a wider collection of product categories than simply focusing on part of the demographics enjoy better foot traffic. Choose tenants from various product categories and be sure to include local retailers who always have something new and fresh to offer. Look beyond the retail line up and set up service facilities like ATMs to optimize the time and effort spent on creating the perfect tenant mix.

Make market assessment a part of the responsibility

Tenants come and may go at the end of the lease. This may interrupt the existing interconnections within the retail space. For instance, men visiting your retail center to buy baby diapers in one outlet tend to grab a few drinks at the next one. Retail centers must continually invest time and effort to assess the market and ensure that their tenant mix is optimizing the overall performance.

Hire a good commercial real estate property company

Commercial real estate property management services have mastered the art of using several proven techniques in finding the right mix for any kind of retail property. They study the area around the property, analyze the geographical pros and cons of the place and have seasoned real estate experts to work on the tenant mix. They perform competitor analysis to check what products and services are missing in the area and also work towards acquiring high quality tenants for the property.

Landlords and real estate companies can use real estate property management services to manage tenant relationships from the start till the end while they focus on other core activities.