Articles Tagged "Home maintenance"

Margaret Rudd Industry News Home

Subscribe and receive email notifications of new blog posts.




rss logo RSS Feed
Bald Head Island | 12 Posts
Bolivia, NC | 4 Posts
Brunswick County | 55 Posts
Buy a House | 40 Posts
Calabash NC | 1 Posts
Caswell Beach | 1 Posts
Holden Beach | 7 Posts
Home Improvement | 38 Posts
Home Safety | 4 Posts
Homeownership | 11 Posts
Maritime Forest | 2 Posts
Oak Island NC | 7 Posts
Relocation | 1 Posts
Southport NC | 68 Posts
St James NC | 2 Posts
Sunset Beach | 5 Posts
Uncategorized | 4 Posts
Vacation Home | Second Home | Buying a House | Historic Homes | Things to Do | Local Attractions | Restaurants | Technology | Smart Technology | Beaches | Margaret Rudd & Associates | Oak Island | Holden Beach NC | Area Information | Community Events | Sunset Beach, NC | Southport NC | Brunswick County | Bald Head Island | Caswell Beach | Ocean Isle Beach | Winding River Plantation | St. James Plantation | Curb appeal | Holidays | Holiday staging | Home Staging | Downsizing | Relocation | Retirement | Neighborhoods | Golf | Golf Courses | Golf Communities | Down payment | Home loan | First-time buyers | First home | Sell Your Home | Home Inspection | Move Up Buyers | Southport Neighborhoods | Cambridge Crossings | Rivermist at Dutchman Village | The Preserve at Oak Island | Arbor Creek | Palmetto Creek | Ocean Ridge Plantation | Sea Trail Plantation | River Sea Plantation | Cade's Cove | Carolina Place | Harbor Oaks | The Hammocks at Southport | Indigo Plantation | The Landing at Southport | Mariner's Pointe | South Harbour Village | Mortgage | Credit Score | Avalon | Bolivia, NC | Walkability | Home ownership | Home improvement | Local businesses | Open house | Fitness Centers | Marsh Walk | Local events | For sellers | Choosing an agent | Pets | Home maintenance | Nature preserve | Wildlife | For buyers | Home buying tips | Festivals | Outdoor activities | Waterfront dining | Outdoor living space | Security features | Smart home features | Energy efficiency | Home-selling tips | Home valuation | Boiling Spring Lakes | St. James | Winter | Interior Design | Home Decor
September
5

Home improvement projects are great as long as they pay off. Here are the best and worst projects for return on investment.

Home improvements are a great way to make repairs and upgrades that create a more comfortable home; however, the costs to make them can be significant. Before you start renovations, our real estate agents suggest that you take a close look at your ROI — your return on investment.

A return on investment is calculated by dividing your gain by the costs of your investment. ROI is the profit you recoup from a repair, upgrade, or renovation when you sell your home. In Southport homes for sale, ROI can vary significantly depending on the type of renovations you do.

Click Here to Read More...

July
11

Home improvement projects that can save you money in the long run are the best. Here are the ones you should focus on this summer.

Summer is here, and with it comes a chance to save some serious money through preventative home maintenance. Our real estate agents are here to show you how!

Every season brings opportunities to improve the quality of your home and hopefully save some money in the process. Summer is no exception. Some of these summer maintenance tips will start saving you some cash right away, while others are more like long-term investments.

Click Here to Read More...

June
20

Don't let your landscaping ruin your home's curb appeal. Here are the most common mistakes you can avoid.

When you arrive at a home, one of the first details you notice is the landscaping. Understandably, most homeowners spend a lot of time and money improving their home's landscaping.

Unfortunately, a couple of small mistakes can quickly derail your landscaping plans. Our real estate agents suggest avoiding these common landscaping mistakes to keep your home's exterior looking its best.

Click Here to Read More...

May
2

If you need easy home improvement projects to boost your home's value this spring, check these off your list.

A home improvement project doesn't need to be expensive or time-consuming to make an impact on the look and feel of your home.

Our real estate agents know that small, easy projects can have a significant effect on the atmosphere and appearance of your home's indoor and outdoor spaces. Here are a few easy home improvement projects to complete this May. 

Click Here to Read More...

January
19

If you're looking for new ways to enhance your home in 2022, try completing these home improvement tasks for your New Year's resolutions.

New Year's resolutions can be challenging to keep, especially when we seem to be busier than ever. We get that, particularly if it involves going on a diet or hitting the gym more frequently. But resolutions don't have to be strictly personal — they can involve your home too! It's even possible to improve something that would boost the value of your home among Southport homes for sale.

Click Here to Read More...

April
5

Not sure where to start your spring cleaning? Use this guide to clean fast and efficiently.

Spring is in the air in the Southport area, and you know what that means! It's time to shake off the dust and doldrums of winter, and get into some serious spring cleaning. Our real estate agents look forward to this all year!

We understand not everybody gets as excited about spring cleaning as we do, which is why our team is happy to share their expertise. Check out these tips and tricks to make your home spotless this spring!

One Room at a Time

Trying to clean your entire home can feel overwhelming, so it's important to start out in the right mindset to make it more manageable. First and foremost, break it down and tackle one room at a time. Second, you don't have to do it all in a day. If you want, you can spend the next several weekends cleaning a single room each day until the whole house sparkles. 

Clear the Clutter

Click Here to Read More...

March
1

It can often be difficult to find new storage solutions in your home, especially if the places you normally use for storage are full. One often overlooked storage area is the attic, for a number of reasons. Some may be hesitant to put their cherished belongings up in the attic because of the potential dust and unchecked climate. But this seldom-used space can aid in your storage efforts if used properly. Our real estate agents recommend that you try the following things to optimize your attic for storage.

Click Here to Read More...

January
25

Cleaning Tips

Winter is a fantastic time to deep clean your home. Our real estate agents also recommend that you thoroughly clean your home before an open house or showing. Follow these tips to get your space cleaner than ever. 

Click Here to Read More...

January
18

Southport Home Decor

With the arrival of a new year comes an opportunity for a fresh start. And not just for you, but for your home too. After a year like 2020, it's safe to agree that we can all use a new beginning. 

If you're anything like our real estate agents, you've probably spent a lot more time at home over the last year, possibly even working from home. You might be ready to stop staring at the same old walls and furnishings every day, in which case, redoing your home in one of these unique design styles might be just the pick-me-up your home needs for the new year!

Click Here to Read More...

October
26

Pet Owners Selling HomeHaving a pet in your family makes your house feel even more like home. Unfortunately, not all buyers are thrilled about having a four-legged friend as a prior resident — especially if they have pets themselves. Our real estate agents understand that you have a lot on your plate as you sell your home. We want to take a moment to remind you that there are a few additional tasks to add to your to-do list if you're selling a home that housed a pet. Pet owners should complete these duties before a showing.

Click Here to Read More...

October
19

Organize Kitchen PantryEven in large modern homes, the pantry is usually a pale shadow of what it was in historic times. Generally, there were two -- one for dry goods and one for food preparation. These days, you're lucky indeed if you have a walk-in pantry where you can organize cans, containers, jars, and whatnot for easy access. But even in a smaller space, you can employ some organizational tips that will help you make the most of what you have.

Click Here to Read More...

October
12

Fall Decorating Tips

Have you fallen in love with autumn? Our real estate agents love this time of the year, particularly because so many homeowners embrace the season by decorating their porches. If you're looking for a way to celebrate the season with festive décor, consider these five decorating tips for your front porch.

Click Here to Read More...

September
8

Hanging Wall Art Tips

Wall art can make your home look more pleasing and personalized. But many homeowners are apprehensive about putting holes in their walls and worry about exactly where to hang their art.

Fortunately, this type of decorating isn't as difficult as you may think. And if you change your mind, you can also select different artwork or hang it somewhere else. Our real estate agents suggest the following tips to help make hanging wall art in your home easier:

Click Here to Read More...

August
10

Declutter Your Home

Clutter has a way of catching you off guard. Even if you're a naturally tidy person, it can seem like as soon as you turn your back, clutter sneaks up and becomes a problem overnight. 

Lately, we've all been spending a lot more time at home than we're used to, which is why our REALTORS® are particularly eager to share some de-cluttering tricks. Here's how you can enjoy a cleaner, less cluttered home this summer. 

Benefits of Decluttering

Click Here to Read More...

July
20

Summer Bugs

As the summer heats up here in the Southport area, our real estate agents have been hard at work showing off the best Southport homes for sale. But there's one thing about the warm weather no one looks forward to, and that's summer bugs!

Click Here to Read More...

July
6

Myths About Real Estate

Ask anyone who has bought or sold a home for real estate advice, and you're likely to hear some interesting answers related to that person's own experience. But no matter how good the intentions of the friend, family member, or colleague providing that advice, it can be hard to separate myth from fact. The stakes are high when buying or selling a home, so it's important to have the facts before you engage in the process. Our real estate agents are here to help, by debunking five common myths that you have likely heard about the real estate market.

June
22

Budget Friendly Kitchen

Not only is the kitchen the heart of the home, but it's also often the room that adds the most value when it comes to selling a house. If you're planning to put your home on the market, remember that a simple kitchen upgrade can not only help your home to sell faster, it can generate a significant return on investment. 

Click Here to Read More...

June
15

Transplanting During the Summer

Our real estate agents know one of the best reasons to own a home is to have a garden or lawn for planting your favorite flowers, veggies, or fruits. A garden is great for hours of enjoyment all throughout the year. Plenty of Southport homes for sale offer ample space for any gardener to get started.

Even true "green thumbs" can find themselves slowing down a little on outdoor chores during the heat of summer. But sometimes, a plant simply won't wait: For one reason or another, you need to transplant it right away.

Click Here to Read More...

May
26

Elegant Home

Most of us are sitting at home these days, and it can be challenging to find projects to keep busy. One relatively easy goal could be sprucing up your home with simple, inexpensive touches that will enhance its elegance and won't break the bank.

Our real estate agents have you covered with these tips to make your home look more elegant, without breaking your budget! Plus, these simple changes can help your home stand out among the Southport homes for sale

  1. Declutter
    You've seen this tip before, but less is always more when it comes to the home. Be merciless; go through each room and remove knickknacks, photos, gifts from relatives, and dated furnishings (no matter how sentimental). Store these items and switch them out another time.

  2. Click Here to Read More...

May
18

Brunswick County Greenhouses

Anyone with a green thumb has a lot to look forward to in the Southport area this spring. Our REALTORS® are always excited to see young plants popping up all over town, and now is a great time to revamp your lawn and garden. 

If you're looking for some new additions to your garden this spring, be sure to check out these great local greenhouses in and around Southport, NC.

Click Here to Read More...

May
11

Home Improvement Tasks

When you spend more time at home, it's natural for small home annoyances to turn into big home problems. That dripping tap becomes torture when you're listening to it all day long. Lots of homeowners turn time at home into home improvement time, and it's a great time for small DIY projects. But there are a few projects that should wait for licensed professionals. Our real estate agents want your home improvement projects to be safe and successful, so we suggest you save the following for the pros. 

  1. Electrical Work
    It's hard to overemphasize the dangers of DIY electrical work. You could cause injury to yourself or a member of your household. Unlicensed electrical work could cause damage to your home that could cost thousands to fix. Some projects, such as changing a light fixture, are promoted as DIY projects, but even those are safer in the hands of a trained and licensed electrician. 
  2. Plumbing Changes
    Adding that outdoor faucet or installing a bidet sounds like a simple DIY project when they describe it on home improvement shows, but it can end with a flooded basement or worse for the unlicensed plumber. Licensed plumbers have access to tools and materials that the average homeowner simply does not. There are some simple repairs that you can do on your own, but making significant changes requires professional help. 
  3. Adding or Removing Walls
    Perhaps you're tired of your open-plan layout, or you have a section of a dining room just crying out to become your new den. But put down the sledgehammer. Dividing or combining rooms carries a significant risk to the structural soundness of your home. Adding or removing walls creates a stress on your home that cannot be accomplished safely without professional assessment, planning, and execution. You may also need to get a permit before altering your home in such a manner. Creating an addition to your home, such as adding a sunroom, creates a similar stress on your home's structure and the electrical grid. Please consult an architect with your plans to alter your home's structure. 

Spending time at home is great for assessing your home's strengths and weaknesses. You'll have time to figure out just what would make your home one of the finest Southport homes for sale. And knowing what projects should be best left to professionals will save you time, money, and keep your family safe. Renovations done by licensed professionals look better to potential home buyers and show the pride you have in your home. If you're interested in learning about what repairs and renovations can do for your home's prospects on the market, contact us today. 

May
4

Spring Cleaning Tasks

It's spring cleaning season -- so jump on those big projects that will make your home fresh and clean and ready to stand out among Southport homes for sale. But don't forget those other tasks -- you know, the ones that ensure your home is spic and span in every nook and cranny. These are the jobs, so many of us forget about among the many other spring cleaning tasks on our to-do list. Make your home sparkle inside and out with this helpful list compiled by our REALTORS®.

  1. Vacuum Between the Mattress and Box Springs
    Dirt and other pollutants can lurk everywhere in your home, not just on the floor and exposed flat surfaces. Start your quest for a deep-cleaned home by vacuuming your mattress top with a HEPA filter to get rid of dirt, dust mites, and pet dander. Then turn it over and vacuum the box springs and back of the mattress. Rotate your mattress regularly every six months or so. Pillow top mattress? Flip it from head to toe.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
13

Downsize Your Home

Your home is your castle. It's a comfortable, peaceful retreat from the pressures of work and the world outside. It's where you raise your children and send them off into the world with fond memories of backyard bbq's, holidays, and family gatherings. As the years go by and your lifestyle changes, it's entirely possible that your once comfortable home will simply be too large for your needs. If you find yourself wondering if now is the right time to downsize, the following are seven signs that it's time to make your move into one of the smaller Southport homes for sale right now.

  1. Maintenance is Taking its Toll 
    The bigger the home, the more it takes to maintain the landscape and everything else. Some tasks such as fixing the roof or climbing ladders to clean gutters can be downright dangerous the older you are.

    Click Here to Read More...

April
6

Clean Stainless Steel

Stainless steel appliances have grown in popularity in recent years, thanks to their unique look and sleek, shiny finish. If you own a stainless steel appliance, then you know that the one key challenge is keeping that finish looking sleek and shiny. Through normal use, stainless steel appliances often attract smudges, fingerprints, and streaks, which aren't always easy to remove. Not easy, but certainly possible. If you're planning on doing some spring cleaning, like our REALTORS®, then you'll want to take a look at our tips for how to clean stainless steel.

  • What Not to Do When Cleaning Stainless Steel
    Whether you're polishing up your kitchen to help your home compete with other Southport homes for sale or making your space look its best for your use, there are some things you don't want to do when cleaning stainless steel. The key is to avoid using any type of harsh cleaning products, including bleach, oven cleaners, ammonia, abrasive cleaners, and steel wool. Some manufacturers recommend against using certain other cleaning products as well, so it's always a good idea to read the instructions that came with your appliance for a full list.

  • Don't Expect the Same Methods to Work on Every Appliance
    While the cleaning tips below rely on techniques that won't harm your appliances, getting just the right results may take a little bit of trial and error. Each stainless steel appliance is a little different, and if your appliances come from different manufacturers, then you may have to tweak your techniques a bit to bring out the best in each one.

  • Try Vinegar and Olive Oil for a Homemade Solution
    Two of the most popular options for cleaning stainless steel can likely be found in your pantry or kitchen cabinets. Start by using a spray bottle with white vinegar to spray down and wipe off your appliances. Once you have cleaned the whole surface, dip a soft cloth in olive oil and use that to polish your stainless steel to a shiny finish. With a little practice, this technique can have your stainless steel surfaces looking brand new.

  • Gentle Dish Soap Is Also a Great Option
    If you wish to use a more traditional method, a soft cloth and warm water mixed with gentle dish soap can also get the job done. Use one cloth to clean the surface with that mixture, then another clean, dry, soft cloth to dry and polish the surface when you're done cleaning.

  • Always Use a Soft Cloth or Towel
    No matter which products you use to clean your stainless steel surfaces, remember that it's always best to use something very soft, like a microfiber cloth, to wipe down and polish the surface. Paper towels can also work in a pinch, but the key is to avoid using older, heavily used cleaning cloths that may cause damage or an uneven finish.

  • Polish "With the Grain" for the Best Finish
    If your surface isn't quite looking how you want after cleaning, then you may be polishing against the grain. It's usually best to move your towel in one direction when polishing to go with the grain, and finding the right direction may take a little experimenting. 

Are you searching for a new home, where you can create the kitchen of your dreams? Our team is here to help. Contact us today.

March
30

Southport Plants

Spring is beginning, and it's a perfect time to plan your garden. The weather is warm enough that you can plan your garden outdoors, even if the lawn isn't as lush and green as it will be in a month or two. While exotic greenhouse blooms win flower shows, if you select plants suited to the local climate, you'll have multiple choices for beautiful blooms and plants that require relatively little intervention to thrive. Whether you've never planted a seed or win gardening prizes every spring, consider the following plants when planning a garden for your Southport home. 

  1. Peace Lily
    The peace lily is a tropical plant that thrives in Southport's hardiness zone, classed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as zone 8A. Its dark, glossy leaves spread out over the ground, helping to maintain the soil moisture it needs, and the ivory blooms give the peace lily its name, despite not being a true lily. It's an excellent plant for novice gardeners, but not for those with small children or pets, as several parts of the plant are toxic.

    Click Here to Read More...

February
24

Selling Your Vacation Home

It's lovely to have a vacation home as a getaway, but sometimes circumstances change, and it's time to move on. It takes some work, but with a little research, selling your vacation home can be a liberating experience. Our real estate agents often advise clients on how selling a vacation home can be different than putting your permanent home on the market. These tips can make the process run smoothly and help you get more bang for your buck when it comes to selling a vacation home.  

  1. Find out the Best Time of Year to Sell
    Depending on the location and type of property, it may be much easier to sell your vacation home during certain times of the year. For example, Southport homes for sale are scooped up much faster in the spring and summer because it's a coastal town that's bustling during these months. Although there is more competition, there are also more potential buyers, which can help you sell faster and make more money. If you own a condo or timeshare, make sure to check with the HOA or timeshare company to find out if there are any restrictions on when and how you sell your vacation home. It's also a good idea to speak to your accountant or attorney about the tax implications of selling your vacation home.
  2. Find an Experienced Agent
    The seasonal/vacation home market can be very different than real estate markets in other areas. Look for a knowledgeable real estate agent who has a proven track record of success in helping clients successfully buy and sell vacation homes. A well-established local agent should also provide references and understand the multifaceted aspects of the area and what buyers are looking for. An excellent real estate agent will also advise you on how to appropriately prepare and price your vacation home to make it sell.
  3. Price it Right
    Check out recent sales of comparable homes in the area to see how much they sold for. Make sure you take into consideration location, square footage, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and amenities like a fenced-in yard. Some people looking to buy vacation homes are interested in purchasing a house that's furnished. Ask your real estate agent about how to add furnishings to the overall cost.
  4. Clean it Up
    Getting ready to sell is the perfect time to declutter and clean your house from top to bottom. Make sure to make any minor repairs and do affordable updates like new cabinet and drawer hardware in the kitchen and new lighting fixtures. Have carpets professionally cleaned and paint all rooms a neutral color such as beige, cream, or greige. If any major repairs need to be done, it's a must to take care of them before you put your house on the market. Once it's all cleaned up, stage it for photos and listing.
  5. Create Curb Appeal
    Now that the inside of your vacation home looks all pretty and clean give the outside some attention. Cut the grass, pull weeds, and trim hedges and trees, so it all looks neat and tidy. Adding splashes of color with pots of vibrant flowers and a new welcome mat will make the outside pop.

Are you looking to buy or sell a vacation home in Brunswick County? Our real estate professionals have you covered. Contact us to get started.

January
20

Oceanfront Home Maintenance

Having a home on the ocean is many people's idea of paradise. After all, you can't beat views of the sparkling water, the sound of the surf, and an instant destination for fun or relaxation. Owners should be aware that oceanfront homes require different care since humidity, the sun, sand, and salty air can all take their toll on your home.

Our real estate agents suggest the following maintenance tips for your oceanfront home:

  • Clean regularly and thoroughly
    Sand and humidity can take a severe toll on your home, so you'll need to be especially diligent about cleaning. Clean every bit of your home regularly – particularly the exterior – to prevent problems like mold. Mold thrives in damp, humid coastal areas, so you'll need to inspect your home for it frequently.
  • Have frequent termite inspections
    Your oceanfront home can be a target for termites that can wreak havoc on the structure of your home. Sign up for a quarterly pest prevention program that includes spraying for termites as well as other pests, since many thrive in this type of environment.

    Click Here to Read More...

September
30

Decorative Trends to Avoid - Margaret Rudd

You've spent many hours over the years picking out every fixture, paint color, and piece of furniture to make your house a home.

Now you're ready to put your house on the market, but you have to be prepared for future potential buyers. Our REALTORS® are experts at getting your home to sell as quickly as possible. Here are some decorating trends to avoid and updates you can make to give buyers of Southport homes for sale exactly what they want.

Bold Patterned Walls
Big, bold wallpaper patterns have become extremely trendy in recent years for places like bathroom spaces and accent walls in living spaces throughout your home.

However, while you may love those giant pandas with the bamboo forest background, they might turn potential buyers away. You buyers may see a project they have to take on if they purchase your home.

What to Do Instead: Paint your walls in neutral colors. White will always help give the buyers a blank space to envision how they would make the space their own. Or consider warmer neutrals to give the space a cozier feel. Neutral colors also help the rooms look brighter and larger, appealing to a broader range of potential buyers.

Click Here to Read More...

May
27

Energy Efficient Home-Margaret Rudd & Associates

With experience working with both home buyers and sellers, our REALTORS®  have an in-depth knowledge of what buyers are looking for in Southport homes for sale. By far, the most sought-after features are those that increase the energy efficiency of a home. 

Everyone Benefits

Energy efficiency is the one thing that adds value for everyone on both sides of the house-buying equation. For sellers, having proof that you installed energy-efficient features in the home you're selling will increase the appeal to buyers. It will also enable you to ask for, and usually receive, a higher selling price. Some sellers question the initial cash investment they need to make to increase their home's energy efficiency, but when we point out how this investment can help them realize a better selling price, they understand the benefit.

Click Here to Read More...

April
15

Painting to Sell-Margaret Rudd & Associates

The marine beauty of coastal towns in North Carolina makes the ideal backdrop for a calm and happy life. Use the unique natural charms of the Southport, NC landscape to sell your home more quickly.

One way to make your seaside home stand out is by choosing the perfect color to complement the seaside terrain. Our REALTORS® at Margaret Rudd and Associates use these secrets when finding just the right hue when placing a Southport home for sale.

  • Harness the Power of Optical Illusion

    Seeing isn't always believing. Different colors absorb varying amounts of light. The brain interprets the presence of light with a sense of space. For that reason, it's possible to use color to change the way potential buyers perceive your property.

    Lighter colors are the best for making small spaces feel roomy. White paint reflects the most light. However, all-white walls can be off-putting. Shades of all colors mixed with white is a great way to incorporate personality and still take advantage of optical illusion.

    Click Here to Read More...

March
11

Spring Home Maintenance-Margaret Rudd & Associates

There's something timeless and boundless about watching the ocean and feeling that salty wind in your face. Maybe that's why we're so enamored with living near it, taking in all the sea has to offer.   

But for a North Carolina house, being by the sea can be damaging, with exposure to salt, sand, and wind. Salt is corrosive and ever-present in the air and water. Wind, carrying tiny grains of sand, batters and scours your home's exterior. You should be mindful of the extra attention it may need and make sure your maintenance schedule includes specific tasks.  

If your home is one of the Southport homes for sale, our REALTORS® recommend regularly doing the following. 

Click Here to Read More...