VIDEO TIP: 3 Important Spring – Early Summer Homeowner Tips

This year is seems like we went straight from cold winter to hot summer, without ever getting to experience spring.

But the things you need to do in spring or early summer still need to be done even if it feels like we skipped spring. And if you are thinking about selling in the next few years, my 3rd tip is for you!

I’ve got more tips coming soon. Be sure to subscribe to the Arch City Homes weekly email and the video tips will be delivered directly to your inbox weekly.

What’s in the Video:

I’ve learned a lot about taking care of homes since I became a real estate agent 17 years ago. This video is for anyone who lives in or owns a home. Plus 2 of these tips are important for condo owners too!

  1. Turn off your humidifier if you haven’t already. Humidifiers should not be used during AC season.
  2. Don’t leave a hole when you pull out overgrown or dead plants near your home foundation. Removing plants near the foundation can result in water in the basement if you aren’t careful.
  3. If you are thinking of selling, look out your backyard and see if trees hide things during the summer that could turn off buyers after the leaves fall. If so, then you need to plan to sell in the spring or summer.

There are other things you need to do in spring and summer when you own a home. Call me if you need more home ownership tips.

And stick around for more of my videos!

Are You Thinking About Moving?

I specialize in selling St. Louis homes regardless of whether they will be the hot listing to hit the market or if they have a challenge that makes it much harder to sell.  I also work with buyers who want to find the home of their dreams, but don’t want to overpay.

If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in the St. Louis area, give me a call at 314-265-8073 and let’s talk about your options.

Make Your Stove Safe by Installing an Anti-Tip Device

One of the first things real estate agents learn during home inspections is that all stoves (gas and electric) should have an anti-tip device. 

Actually, when you buy a stove, it comes with the anti-tip device. Unfortunately, most people don’t use it and instead toss it in a drawer with the product manual.

Why Use a Stove Anti-Tip?

Every year, there are injuries and deaths due to stoves tipping over because they weren’t securely attached to the wall or floor.

The anti-tip device limits how far your stove can tip forward, preventing injuries.

What Makes a Stove Tip Forward?

Here are a few situations that can easily cause a stove to tip over on top of a person.

  • Children (and sometimes adults) use the open door as a ladder to climb onto the counter
  • Adults lose their balance and fall onto the open door
  • Cooks set the turkey or other heavy dishes onto the open door prior to lifting it up to the counter

Think about it. If the oven door is open, and a child climbed on it or you lost your balance and fell on it, the stove could come toppling over on you or that small child. Even if it didn’t completely crash down on you, you could get severe burns if the hot contents on the cooktop or in the oven spilled all over you.

Is Your Anti-Tip Device Installed?

The solution to this problem is really simple. Every stove comes with a small metal bracket called an anti-tip device. The device is usually attached to the floor or wall, and one of the rear metal feet on the stove is slid into the bracket. If the stove starts to tip forward, the bracket holds the foot in place preventing it from moving more than a few inches. If your stove doesn’t have an anti-tip installed, you can pick one up at a hardware store or online.

Since this is one of the most common problems that comes up when a home is sold and is so easily fixed, every homeowner should check to confirm their stove is properly secured so it won’t tip over.

Test Your Stove TODAY!

The next time you are in your kitchen check to see if you have an anti-tip device. While the oven is turned off and cool, remove any items on top or inside the stove. Then close the door and pull on the back of the stove. If you can tip it toward you over 6 inches and nothing stops you, then you do NOT have an anti-tip on your stove.

If you can only pull it a little before it stops, then you DO have an anti-tip installed. 

If you aren’t handy enough to put one on yourself, any handyman will be able to do it for you. If you live in the St. Louis area and don’t have a handyman, call me and I can suggest someone who can come to your home and fix this for you.

Transform your Kitchen with a New Backsplash

Home buyers searching through homes on the internet, trying to decide which homes to visit in person, often don’t realize how easy it can be to transform something they dislike into something they want.

When buyers look at kitchens that feel plain, they often think it means they will have to completely redo the kitchen.

But sometimes changing paint, counters and adding a back splash can completely change the look of a kitchen.

Transforming a Rental Home Kitchen:

When my clients John and Rita called me about selling one of their rental homes, we needed to transform the home from plain to special, without spending much money.

The kitchen was in good condition but felt plain.

This kitchen took on an entire new look by adding stick on vinyl squares that look like glass tile.

New Backsplash and Trendy Paint:

There was a time when red kitchens were everywhere. But trends change quickly, and today’s home buyers get excited by gray walls.

When you add new paint and staging to the new backsplash (plus properly lit photography!), a kitchen can be totally transformed.

Kitchen Backsplashes:

Kitchen backsplashes can change a plain kitchen into one that offers a luxury look. While backsplash styles change quickly, as long as the style fits what people were installing in the last few years, St. Louis home buyers will be impressed.

If you are thinking of selling your home, adding a backsplash may be just what you need to do to get a higher sale price.

Don’t Go It Alone:

With both of these kitchen transformations, I provided a few suggestions to my clients that would give them the look I was describing. I went to a local big box store and texted them pictures (with prices) of backsplashes that would make their kitchens appealing to buyers. Then they went shopping. Both sent me texts of pictures of the items they planned to purchase before pulling out their credit cards.

While many real estate agents might suggest clients make changes before putting a home on the market, I go the extra step of helping my clients from start to finish. I want my clients to be confident they are putting in features home buyers will like.

The end result is my clients can get the price they want for their home…which is the only reason they made the updates in the first place.

Not Moving?

Give me a call and I’ll help you figure out which updates makes sense. Whether you are moving next year or in 20 years, I’m happy to help.

If you are ready to sell your St. Louis home, the agent you choose really makes a difference.

Cheaply Update a Home with New Light Fixtures

Do you want to update your home for sale but don’t want to spend a lot of money?

Do you plan to stay in your home for awhile and want it updated without taking on expensive projects?

Changing the light fixtures with inexpensive lights found online or in big box hardware stores is a good way to make your home feel updated without spending a lot of money. I often send my clients to Menards, Home Depot or Lowes and then arrange for a handyman to install the new lights for my clients.

I recently sold my mom’s villa, and the first thing I told her when she decided to sell was “we need to update the lights.”

We took down all of these brass fixtures plus a ceiling fan that had seen better days. For around $500, we bought new lights to replace them all.

Since the target buyer for this villa was most likely to be a downsizing couple with fairly traditional tastes, we didn’t go with the trendiest lights in the store. Understanding who is likely to buy a property is critical when making choices about updates.

We decided to limit the cost by only updating the lights on the main floor. We left the original lights in the finished basement.

See for yourself the difference the a new ceiling fan can make.

Before & After:

Another couple I recently represented did the same thing. I sent my clients some suggestions for new lights. I even snapped some pictures and texted them over.

Knowing that all of these lights would have a similar impact, they opted to purchase the least expensive light from my suggestions since they were selling.

If they had been staying in the home, they would have picked the one on the right. It was a little more expensive but they liked it better.

They changed out all of the lights except for the foyer light before my photographer came over. So I actually have some before and after pictures to show you.

If you are ready to sell your St. Louis home, the agent you choose really makes a difference.

Guide to Installing Custom Granite Counters in St. Louis

Adding granite counters to your kitchen isn’t as expensive as you might think. Depending on the size of your kitchen, it might only be a few thousand dollars more than installing upgraded formica countertops.

Guide to Installing Custom Granite Counters in St. Louis | Arch City Homes

2 Options for Installing Granite:

There are 2 basic ways you can get granite kitchen counters for your home.

Order Granite Counters from a Hardware Store:

The simplest way to purchase granite counters is to go to a hardware store such as Home Depot or Lowes. These stores carry a limited selection of granite options.

Granite is categorized as low cost, medium cost and high cost. The granite styles you can buy at the hardware store usually are from the low cost patterns since the entire slab is more likely to look like the sample, eliminating complaints after installation.

Choose Your Own Granite Slab:

While it does take a little more work to choose your own granite slab, going to a granite importer to pick your own slab will give you more choices for your new kitchen counters without added cost.

Steps to Choosing Your Own Granite Slab in St. Louis:

1. Choose a granite fabricator

There are many granite fabricators in the St. Louis region. These companies specialize in cutting the granite slabs to fit your kitchen. While they often carry a limited supply of granite themselves, you can also pick your own slab at an importer and the fabricator will purchase the slab for you. 

2. Visit several granite importers and pick a slab

I have visited most of the big granite importers in St. Louis when looking for granite for my last 2 kitchen remodels. My favorite granite importer is Global Granite. They have one of the biggest selections of granite available in town. 

Guide to Installing Custom Granite Counters in St. Louis | Arch City Homes

3. Choose your slab

Once you choose a slab of granite, the importer will contact your fabricator to let the fabricator know which slab you would like priced. The fabricator will then provide you with a price based on rough estimates of the size of your counters you provided. Once you finalize your selection, the fabricator will come to your home to measure and will then will give you a formal cost for the slab you chose. 

At this point, you will pay a deposit, the fabricator will purchase the slab you picked and will start cutting the slab for your kitchen. From the time you pick the slab at a granite yard, you should plan on 2-4 weeks before installation.

Contact Karen Goodman to find out if adding granite counters to your home will make it easier to sell your home for more money.

8 + 2 =

Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel

I have done kitchen updates in every home I have owned. In the first home, I just painted the original wood cabinets, replaced counters and floors, and reglazed the olive green oven so it was a shiny black.

With each home, the remodel became a little bigger.

More about my kitchen remodels:

There is no doubt that a moderate to full kitchen remodel can transform your home.

But nothing transforms an older home like opening up the walls and creating a kitchen that is open the the adjoining living spaces.

Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes

The pictures above are of the kitchen remodel I did in my current home. I removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, moved the sink and dishwasher to the new half wall, added a raised serving bar which also hides things like the soap dispenser from full view and removed the historic cubby that was designed for a 42 inch stove.

Here are a few more pictures to show you what this kitchen remodel did to transform my home.

Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes

I decided that I really didn’t need a space for a large table, but I did want a big pantry. So I added a pantry cabinet in the adjoining breakfast room. The next project is to build a L-shape window seat next to the pantry for extra storage.

Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes

I just listed a home that is one block away with the same original floor plan as my house. This home has an updated kitchen, but the kitchen was kept separate from the dining room.

Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes Transforming Your Home through a Kitchen Remodel | Arch City Homes

This kitchen has nice cabinets and a great work triangle for cooking efficiently. Many people would leave this kitchen exactly the way it is. But for someone who wants a bigger kitchen with more counter space, you can see the potential by simply opening up the wall and adding more cabinets to connect the two sides.