Single Story Home or Two Story Home?

It isn’t your imagination that a one story house feels a lot more spacious than a two story house, of equal size.

Potential home buyers are often told that they can purchase a “bigger house” for less money, with a two story home.  However, staircases, in a two story home waste a  significant amount of square footage, according to houzz.com. Risers,  landings,  and headroom, along with the wall and the hall or the path around the staircase, take a considerable amount of  valuable space on both floors. As much as a single-car garage!   A second floor bathroom, also, takes space that would be allocated to living areas and storage, in a one story home. Many two story homes have less land than a one story, as building upwards, for a two story home, requires less land than a single story with the same square footage.

One (former) two story homeowner explained, “A large amount of  the square footage in  a two story home,  is simply ‘on paper’ because it is unusable for living or storage. Twostory homes don’t have much attic, which left only our garage for storage.  Our two story home , built on a smaller lot, than a one story home, made our yard even more cramped with the tacky outdoor storage building we had to  purchase, in order to get the space we believed we were getting by buying a two-story.”

WHY THE POPULARITY OF  SINGLE STORY HOMES  THAT MAKES A ONE STORY HOME SO DESIRABLE AND, THUS,  HARDER TO FIND? 

Realtors tell us that  there are  fewer single story homes available on the market because homes without  stairs appeal to a wider range of potential buyers.  Many will not consider a two-story home.

The higher demand for a “well taken care of” single story home means one story homes typically  have faster resale and usually sell for more money, than a two-story of equal size. The popularity of a single story  increases the chance that the home  doesn’t languish on the market  forcing the seller to keep cutting the price, due to a limited number of  potential  buyers.

ENERGY COSTS 
Two story homes tend to have inconsistent temperature zones. A basic law of physics is that heat rises. In winter, heat goes up the stairs leaving the downstairs cold. In summer,    the heat  in a one story heat rises and escapes  to the attic while on a two story, the heat rises to the second level making bedrooms, on the second floor stifling hot and harder to cool.

It takes a decent amount of effort and expense to balance temperature between the two levels so that one level is not too warm while the other is too cool. Zoned air conditioning/heating (two separate HVAC units) may be used but that means  more opportunity for breakdowns and costly repairs.

Often when kids leave the nest the second level stores junk they didn’t take or items that one can’t seem to throw away; Mom and Dad  rarely go upstairs. However, shutting off the second floor to save money on utilities can create condensation leading to  mold, which can be an expensive problem.

Maintenance and Repairs
Soaring stairwells and a two-story exterior usually require scaffolding or a tall ladder for   “do-it-yourselfers” who are willing to paint 20 feet in the air since painters and roofers often charge a premium for two story homes.  Gutters and chimneys are harder to clean, due to height and often special equipment is required for general repair.

Cleaning
One story homes are easier and faster to clean, without the need to drag  the vacuum cleaner and  “cleaning supplies“  all the way up the stairs” and then back down to put them away.  Cleaning light  fixtures and changing bulbs high up in the stairwell can be intimidating.  Stairwells must be wide enough to easily accommodate large furniture being lugged up and down stairs. Still, walls are often marred.

Guests
Overnight guests  can mean numerous trips up and down the stairs  transporting fresh linens, dusting and vacuuming before visitors arrive and then  afterwards to clean and rewash bedding.

Laundry
Doing the laundry can mean climbing up and down stairs multiple times, hauling laundry baskets of dirty clothes downstairs, going up and down stairs each time to move clothes from the washer to the dryer, then taking clean clothes back up to the bedrooms.

Clutter at the bottom of the stairs.
Many items, such as suitcases setting at the bottom of the stairs waiting for someone to take them up tend to be ignored and wind up staying there.

PLUMBING NIGHTMARES IN A TWO STORY HOME
An upstairs  plumbing leak  from a bathtub, toilet,  a washer or hot water heater can be a disaster.  (A problem in the  waste piping  can create a horrific stench.) Since water travels along pipes like a highway,  one may not notice something has happened until a large wet spot drips from the ceiling of a room other than the one right below the upstairs bathroom.  Some reported that repairs often require 2′ holes in  ceilings to be  left open  for weeks, in order to dry out completely to avoid mold.  Bathrooms on both levels are often out of commission during repairs. However, damage isn’t just confined to the upstairs flooring. Instead, repairs may necessitate walls and several ceilings  downstairs.

HOME BUYERS OF ALL AGES LIKE THE PRACTICALITY AND SIMPLICITY OF A SINGLE STORY

Universal design is associated with the layout of a one story home, which provides an effortless flow, with everything  located on the same floor.  It is easier to  keep an eye on young children playing just down the hall, when rooms are on one level.  Many parents of toddlers and small children don’t want kids upstairs alone at night, in case of illness or a fire.

Fires
Imagine  loved ones  awakening to a fire, becoming disoriented and stumbling around in the dark.  A sleepy child or overnight guest could easily become disoriented. For someone who wears glasses, trying to find them in a panic is a disaster waiting to happen.

A fire in a room at the bottom of the stairs can be a catastrophe, without a second stairway to escape. Jumping from a second story window is more terrifying than exiting the window of a single story home.

Earthquakes

Stairs swing separately from the main part of the building. The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads – horribly mutilated. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. ~ From an article by Doug Copp, the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI ), the world’s most experienced rescue team.

Accidents and health problems happen.
Stairs  can be difficult to negotiate,  for someone  with a broken leg or other health issues, such as  emphysema, arthritis, knee, hip  or back problems,  osteoporosis or COPD. Stairs can be dangerous to navigate for those with diminished eyesight or who require a wheelchair or other mobility aid.

Falls on stairs are the leading cause of injury-related visits to emergency rooms in the US.
Tripping over the family  dog or cat, while using stairs is a common occurrence.  Victims can be sent tumbling when stocking feet slide on wooden stairs or sneakers catch on stair carpet.  An arm or leg  catching in the railing spokes, when falling,  can break bones, leave goose-size lumps or worse.

Falls and the elderly.
Research shows that falls are the primary etiology of accidental deaths in persons over the age of 65 years and more than 90 percent of hip fractures a result of a fall. One fourth of elderly persons, who sustain a hip fracture, die within six months of the injury.

This year (2015) all Baby Boomers will be at least age 50.  Fifteen years from now  every single person born in 1965 or earlier will be age 65 or older.

Baby boomers  are retiring in record numbers and  many are  willing to pay a little more to have a one-story home    open  walls and  kitchens, easily accessible baths,  less expense of “large lot, large homes would  without the risk of falling down stairs.

Many who didn’t plan on being in their two-story home for the rest of their life find that they don’t have  the energy to move again, yet by not using the second floor, their home becomes  smaller.

Monetary opportunities abound for architects, planners, developers, builders who are willing to develop beautiful one story homes that are convenient to hospitals, restaurants, grocery, retail… and even better…that are within walking distance. Some Baby Boomers have said they are considering a move to a town or city  that meets their need, allowing them to remain in their home forever.

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VISUAL APPEAL
A  single story home is believed, by many, to be  more visually appealing than a  two-story home. A one level house  appears to be larger on the lot and adds to the perceived and actual value of the home.  Majestic entries soaring to  up to 16 ft high, ceiling styles can vary from room to room,  with no second story above. Skylights and atriums result in lots of natural light make the house look more  spacious.

Siding on  the second story of a  brick or stone home, gives the appearance of the upper story being cobbled on, as an afterthought.  Homes with siding on the second level seem to look old within a few short years, making the neighborhood look a bit bedraggled.  An all brick,  stucco or stone home will keep its curb appeal longer, helping to retain the property value. Builders tell us they have the issue of how to cover the second story making it harder to find a two story, without Hardie Plank or other siding.

The above was  compiled from surveys from realtors, builders, appraisers, design engineers and people who have lived in both one story and two story homes. 

 

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24 Responses to Single Story Home or Two Story Home?

  1. Jan says:

    DEVELOPERS, BUILDERS, REALTORS:
    There are warm bodies wanting homes. (The 2016 forecast shows 15 percent nationwide growth for single-family homes.)However, with a shortage of lots we need to focus on ways to develop property.

    Big Selling Points in Housing Markets

    FACT: Older Americans are 47 times richer than young, reports both NPR and CNN That means they have the money to spend! Some say a firestorm is coming with older folks if remodelers and Realtors prepare to be in the money.

    • The U.S. Census Bureau shows that there are 76.4 million baby boomers. (April 2014).
    • Only two (2) years from December 31, 2017 ALL Baby Boomers will be 55 and over….

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    • The average age to become a widow is 59.4, according to census.gov (See table 7)
    • ALL baby boomers will be age 60 and older in only seven years from the end of 2017….which means 76.4 million baby boomers will be age 60 and over, in a little over 7 yrs and many of them will already be widows!
    • Every day, 10,000 Americans turn 65. Twelve (12) years from December 31, 2017 ALL Baby Boomers will be 65 or over. The Social Security Administration said that if you turn 65 today, you will live to 84.3 if you are a man. If you are a woman, it is 86.6. Added a spokesman from SSA: “And those are just averages. About one out of every four 65-year-olds today will live past age 90, and one out of ten will live past age 95.”
    • The U.S. faces a critical shortage of affordable housing for its 50+ population, which will grow to 133 million by 2030 — a 70 percent jump since 2000.Where will they all live?

    Over 80 percent of people over 65 years of age own homes, according to Hollis Greenlaw, CEO of United Development Funding, a publicly registered, non-traded real estate investment trust in Grapevine, Texas.

    In Oct 2014 it was reported that more than 40% of Americans ages 50 to 64 plan to move within the next five years or so, according to the Demand Institute, which is jointly operated by the Conference Board and Nielsen Co.

    Research carried out earlier this year revealed 40 per cent of those intending to sell in the next year were motivated by a desire to trade down.
    This stimulates the economy and allows younger people to move from their single story home to a bigger one just as Boomers are needing to move to a home that better suits their needs today…..a smaller place ……in a decent area. Some sell their home to have a nice nest egg and rent to let others handle everything. Withut owning a house it doesn’t have to go through probate.

    Dominated by “the many baby boomers who delayed retirement during the recession,” prospective downsizers exceed would-be “upsizers” by nearly 3 to 1, says Louise Keely, chief research officer at the Demand Institute.

    Remember: it is the older group who has lots of money to spend, that single women are the second largest group of home purchasers, they want smaller homes and builders need to be designing “women-centric” homes.

    WHEN YOU FIND A NEED THERE IS AN OPPORTUNITY…AND AN OPPORTUNITY CAN MEAN BIG MONEY

    Simply put, there is a need for 55+ communities

    So what do these older folks with money really want in a home?

    • While many may have loved a two story in the past, because of aging knees and hips two-story no longer works for them. See the opportunity for a single story home?
    • We do not want to try to keep up the house or the big yard. shed the responsibilities of a home for a maintenance-free lifestyle,
    • Why pay taxes and insurance on unneeded and unnecessary space in a home you don’t need? .They do not want to be paying taxes on space on the second level in a two story home they will never use) Happiness isn’t about how many rooms of stuff you have because great memories don’t take up much space. They want to get rid of things, to downsize/rightsize.
    • We want to be free of what is holding us back from making new memories, but we don’t want those dreadfully tiny overpriced houses on wheels.
    • Just try to find a decent single story. They go on the market and sell quickly because we are an aging population and older folks don’t want or need two-stories.
    • aging in place, in a current home is nice, if the house is small enough, has very little maintenance and is close to everything.
    • a step-free entrance into the home.
    • Light switches — the rocker type, preferably illuminated — are placed 42 inches from the floor, so people can use them while standing or sitting. Rocker-style light switches are easier to find and operate than normal toggles.
    • Adjustable upper kitchen cabinets and side-by-side fridges allow for storage at shoulder height. Front-facing stove controls mean easier access. Kitchen counters are built at multiple heights, so the kitchen is usable while people are either standing or sitting.
    • Color-contrasting stair treads look stylish and make navigating easier.
    • A column of closets that spans multiple floors can later be converted into an elevator.
    • Lever-style door handles on door and faucets are more arthritis-friendly and easier to use than traditional knobs.
    • Wider doors doorways and hallways that can accommodate wheelchairs, should one ever be needed.
    • A curbless shower with a “roll-in” entry, grab bars and a bench for sitting and a handheld adjustable showerhead.
    • grab bars in the shower, in the tub and near the toilet.
    • A 17-inch toilet instead of one too low makes it easier to sit down and get up, even with old knees.Grab bars are helpful there.
    • Kitchen drawers have easy-to-grip handles.
    • Night-lights, timers and motion sensors that automatically provide needed lighting.
    • Some 50+ developments sprouted up far from services and were only accessible by car. If driving becomes a challenge the promise of blissful seclusion can turn into social isolation. These “right size” developments of single story homes need to be close to friends and health facilities (doctors and hospitals), shopping (Yes Walmart and other stores let you order your groceries on line) and Churches…. , small yards that require very little maintenance, saving the cost of big lots…

    BOTTOM LINE: This makes for some great opportunities…. so let’s find a a creative way to approach it. Smaller homes require fewer materials to build and smaller lots! Builders are beginning to specialize in smaller homes, such as Robinshore, headquartered in Gainesville, Florida and Maine-based Devon Woods which also specializes in creating subdivisions with smaller houses.

    These cottages in Seaside Oregon would be my ideal for right-sized living. Click through the pictures
    Yes I know these are vacation rentals but they were perfect size.

    Investor opportunity – buying apartments and converting them to condos for people to age in place.Condos. Investors are beginning to buy up apartments on the same floor of a building and renovate them to create both shared and private spaces, with extra rooms for caregivers.

    Minimal maintenance is definitely an upside to not living large. The time and money you used to spend on cleaning and upkeep can now go toward fun things. That’s why some people see downsizing as a step forward, not backward.

    When it comes to low maintenance and convenience, an “attached” home — such as a townhouse, condo, loft or co-op, in which you share walls and/or common areas with your neighbors — is a popular choice in neighborhoods with easy access to amenities. Buyers won’t have to worry about fixing the roof or mowing the lawn. These homes are managed by homeowners’ associations (HOAs), which collect monthly fees for maintenance services and impose rules for the community, so buyers should research the HOA before buying in a particular building.
    With fewer square feet to heat, mow and pay property taxes on, many downsizers hope to slash their monthly expenses.

    But they need to live in a part of the country with a lower cost of living, or willing to move there or the savings may prove modest.

    New construction is nice, but it can cost a homeowner a considerable amount of money for such things as landscaping and window treatments that they don’t think about. In a home that has been lived in they have already paid for those.

    Investors are slowly and quietly buying up single story ranch style houses in older neighborhoods that are close to shopping, grocery stores and fairly close to health facilities… fixing them up and going to the next. Investors tend to stay away from Victorians, Arts and Crafts or other styles that may require extensive renovations and major upkeep. For lower the maintenance, ranch and bungalows are the best bet for low-key living.

    Aging in Place Article tells how well-done modifications may increase the value of a home. Q & A with Sharon & Howard Johnson

    If remodeling an existing home also:
    – Install handrails on both sides of all steps and staircases.
    – While many may have loved a two story in the past, with aging knees and hips two-story no longer works for them.
    – If there isn’t a bedroom and full bath on the main floor in a current home and they are wanting to age in place see if another room or space can be converted.

    Builders and remodelers watch this one: Aging in Place tax credits a step closer?

    While a walkable community is ideal, some developments have a bus available to take residents where they need to go….but with convenience and affordability of UBER and Lyft which available in many cities, one can get around the city without the expense of buying, maintaining, insuring and tagging an automobile and can use the money on their home.

    The ability to push a button on your phone for a car to pick you up immediately. The freedom and mobility that gives is remarkable. Uber drivers world-class background checks, a good, clean record and customers feedback, rating the driver makes sure only the best drivers stay in the system. AARP tells us that Lyft and Uber were started for Millenials….but those 50 and older love it There is great feedback from senior-citizen communities. Seniors work as drivers or just use the service.

    There is a HUGE need now to create housing and communities that we’d like to live in ourselves as someday we will all be old. There is a lack of housing with basic features that support aging. There are not enough options that would allow them to downsize but stay in their neighborhoods. …. only 1 percent of all housing stock in the U.S. has the recommended universal design features

    • Anna C. says:

      There is nothing like owning your own home-free and clear. It is easier to do if you don’t live in a home that is much bigger than what you need and takes too much money to make the house payment each month. Instead, by living in a smaller home you don’t have to shell out as much money each month for the house payment and have less paid out for taxes, insurance, utilities so you could pay extra on your mortgage each month and have the house paid off sooner. Once it is paid it is like getting a HUGE raise each month. (Remember much less you have to throw into the house will give you more to spend on things you enjoy.)

      A big secret: Instead of buying the newest home (where you have to pay for lots of things, such as a garage door opener, window treatments, landscaping, a brick mailbox, etc) buy a fixer-upper and flip it soon.

  2. Dave says:

    ATTENTION BUILDERS: The Future of Housing (AGING IN PLACE) Aging Successfully

    SURVIVING & THRIVING – Aging Options


    Like the backsplash on this one
    Independentlivingdesign.com
    good article
    keep-future-mind-when-remodeling-home

    See lots more here: google “aging in place” considerations for safe, independent living or simply “aging in place”

    Get the Vintage magazine delivered to your home for free

    …..nearly 20 million older adults live in unaffordable and unsafe housing.
    ………. 20 million households are paying over 30% of their income on housing.
    …..almost 10 million households are paying over 50%

    A manicured, gated subdivision with stair-free designs sounds great but sometimes the easiest (and perhaps least costly) decision is to stay in place.
    Nearly 9 of 10 people age 65 and older want to remain in their homes and communities as they get older. But far too often, …Instead of being a place that makes them feel safe, secure their homes and communities become barriers to remaining independent and engaged in society.

    People are often forced into making changes they don’t want to make……getting older, and it’s harder to get up and down the stairs. They love their neighborhood; all their friends are here. But what choice do they have but to move.

    With 10,000 people turning 65 EACH day for the next 14 years, the situation is only going to get worse unless we do something to change it.

    People have a choice if there is a change to the environment. Retrofit houses to make them work for us. Take steps to make our communities more age-friendly — not “old-age friendly” but “all-age friendly. Affordable housing as well as access to services can help a community serve people of all ages, incomes and abilities.

    AARP wants to spark new solutions that make communities more livable — not just for older people, but for people of all ages.

    To address the challenges of creating homes and neighborhoods that meet the needs of people of all ages here are two competitions designed to seek out promising ideas and create new opportunities to turn those ideas into action.

    Re-defining Home: Home Today, Home Tomorrow challenges the housing industry to find the most innovative, cost-effective solutions that will allow people to stay in their homes throughout their lives. The winning design will be used to rebuild a home for a family to live in as they age.

    2016 Aging in Place $50K Challengewill be awarded to the competitor with the most innovative solution that helps low-income people 50 and older continue to age in their homes.

    Technology, innovation and collaboration can help us create a future of housing that will bring us new choices and new ways to live engaged, purposeful and meaningful lives as we age. But we need a new focus, not just on senior housing, but housing for an entire lifetime, housing for all generations and all income levels that allows us to live comfortably in good health, go where we want to go safely and remain active and engaged in society. And we must ALL work together to achieve it.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Above blips were from: http://www.aarp.org/politics-society/advocacy/info-2015/the-future-of-housing-jenkins.html (Go there to see video)

    Learn more about what AARP is doing to make housing more affordable and accessible.

    Share your views about housing. Join me in the conversation on Twitter, @JoAnn_Jenkins

    Go here to see how livable your community is.

  3. Julie says:

    The demand for apartments for Seniors remains at high levels because developers are providing apartment dwellers with what they want: bigger floor plans, more amenities, garages, dog parks, dog grooming stations, business centers, resort-style pools, outdoor picnic areas, outdoor fireplaces/firepits, outdoor cabanas with TVs, fitness rooms, Wi-Fi in the clubhouse and limited access gates. The trend in apartments is certainly shifting back to being more social and community-oriented, and it’s the amenities pulling everyone together.better service and the flexibility to come and go whenever they desire.

    AMENITIES THEY WANT
    Wanna be new home buyers tell us they do not want a two story home but all they are finding for single story homes are older homes than need to be remodeled (and they want move in ready!)

    They want it safe:
    – limited access gates. /- gated community
    *A feeling of security from living in a community with emergency storm shelters and staff on hand at all times.

    – Creative organization is key to small home living. Make the most of bare walls with built-in organization and shelving.
    – lots of built in Bookshelves that are built-in to what normally would be a bare wall can make any space into an instant library. and even headboards,
    – Vertical organization in a small closet can be enhanced with split areas for folded, hung, and drawer wardrobe storage. https://www.pinterest.com/apartmentguide/small-closet-no-problem/
    – chest of drawers so no furniture needed to be moved in and out
    – built in vanity and full-length mirror
    – pull out drawers and racks in the kitchen

    – Cathedral-style ceilings make the rooms look a little more spacious.
    – Remove or secure all throw rugs….
    – Some will pay a premium for amenities like gourmet kitchens and concierge service.
    – attached garage and outside lighting for security
    – a guest bedroom that could also be used as a room for crafts
    – two master bedrooms, in case you want a roommate at some point
    – low interior and exterior maintenance;

    – bigger floor plans
    *open balconies
    *open floor plans
    *large kitchen
    *full size refrigerator
    *garbage disposal
    *full size washer and dryer
    *inside and outside storage (so you don’t clutter your apt)

    *Socializing is always an option in the outdoor entertainment areas equipped with BBQ grills and fireplace or in the common areas. Yet you can always retreat to the privacy of your own luxury apartment.

    – a ‘backyard’ or courtyard area
    – resort-style pools *salt water pool (cheaper than the Y) A heated saltwater exercise pool for low-intensity exercise without the harsh, damaging affects of chlorine to your skin, hair and eyes?
    – outdoor picnic areas
    – outdoor fireplaces/firepits
    – outdoor cabanas with TVs
    *community garden *raised-bed herb and vegetable garden. terrace, rooftop, container,and other gardening!

    – Wi-Fi in the clubhouse – WIFI
    *billiards and game room (don’t need extra space in your house for that)
    *craft room (don’t junk up a room in your house, plus you can spend time with friends)
    *tool (Carpentry) workshop (don’t need extra space in your house for that)
    *movie theatre -Watching sporting events in a private movie theater

    *dog park (close enough that you feel safe to walk your dog) Your dog will appreciate the pet park and walking trails on the property
    – dog grooming stations

    *continental breakfast M-F (saves on breakfast, if it is included in the monthly fee)
    *trips once a month (field trips…a nice get away and you don’t have to drive)
    *trips to grocery store weekly (don’t need to take your car, but remember you can order groceries on line with Walmart and Reasors!)

    *55+, all independent living

    *a full activities calendar *Daily events schedule allows you to choose social and fitness activities as you want-things you would not otherwise have available.

    *on-site conveniences like the private fitness center, business center, beauty salon,
    *fitness/exercise center – Zumba available or free access to the building’s gym. – exercise room or an office
    *nail and hair salon (don’t need to drive there)
    – business centers /*conference room (if you don’t want someone in your apt, meet them over there)

    *a complimentary truck at the facility?

    See also
    Planning the Future of Retirement – AARP

  4. Lori says:

    While I have lots of equity in my paid off house I can’t draw from it to buy groceries or to pay the bills on the house pouring money into it, order to have a place to live, we have little money left. The house is too big for me. I don’t have much company or ever entertain. Earthquakes can be shaking and destroying the house bit by bit.

    Owning a home is throwing good money after bad when we have to struggle or work hard to keep it up.

    Ready to be rid of the chores and expense to enjoy every day to the fullest many adults 55 and older are leaving the suburbs behind. A big house requires a lot of work and can often be a burden want to travel for extended amounts of time. From ensuring security systems and doors and windows are properly monitored to monitoring exterior lighting and keeping up the grounds. Down-sizing can free us up to play or travel some if we want. Traveling can be less of hassle when downsizing to an apartment or condominium and letting others handle everything – cleaning the pool and mowing the grass. less upkeep, possibility of a homeowners association HOA that can maintain the grounds and other amenities to enjoy your home as opposed to maintenance If you decide they didn’t like the place free to go when they want they don’t have to try to sell an apartment or take a big loss.

    consider your goals and plans.

    “Living large” doesn’t always mean bigger is better. today people see downsizing as a step forward

    Actress Sally Field lived in a rambling ranch house in the Malibu Hills, with a swimming pool and plenty of room for her three sons, her sick mother and a lifetime of accumulated stuff. Her kids grew up, her mother passed away and no longer needing so much space Field sold that house and bought a smaller, home with just two bedroom, sparse furniture and no pool – because Field says, “I didn’t want to take care of a pool.”

    we have enjoyed living here and have many memories from raising our kids but it has become a labor-intensive money pit eating up retirement money that could be spent in better ways to meet our changing needs. no longer suits our lifestyle and

    More and more people today realize that downsizing to a less space smaller home can mean living more simply provide more time for life -amazingly freeing much more time you have to do what you want to do. puttering in yard seems to appeal to people of all ages, including the younger generation. Choosing less space whether you’re retiring or just want an eco-friendly, low-maintenance lifestyle. easier to maintain, minimal maintenance is definitely an upside to not living large. but in walkable neighborhoods with easy access to amenities -banks, churches, grocery..doctors, hospitals… (Something in a decent area, such as a cottage. An example of this would be the Burning Tree development with single story homes, in a decent area, close to expressways, shopping and healthcare Currently Tulsa has several areas where single story homes,can be purchased low enough that they can be remodeled with nice upgrades that retirees will appreciate and sold for a nice profit. Some malls are renting to health care facilities:

    http://www.chicagobusiness.com/realestate/20160725/CRED03/160729899/the-mall-of-the-future-will-offer-dinner-movies-and-a-colonoscopy

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-07-25/the-mall-of-the-future-will-offer-dinner-movies-and-a-colonoscopy

    Getting rid of the big house/big expenses opens up money to live on. wasting money on paying house payments on for space they don’t need. The time and money you used to spend on cleaning and upkeep can now go toward fun things.

    Downsizing might not make sense in every situation, but it’s worth a look if simplifying life appeals to you.

    move down others move to upgraded house with nice amenities but smaller size.

    There are still significant costs/expenses in owning more space than one needs, it costs a lot to run a large home.The bigger the house the higher taxes, insurance, ) including taxes, utilities, insurance and repairs. (Such as a new roof and heating/AC system) expenses. Living in a smaller home reduces , utility, maintenance bills as well as your taxes insurance A smaller house can often lower the insurance, taxes and possibly HOA fees allowing them to “age in place” and might get them closer to Many want a home that is easier to maintain and less sq footage to lower taxes and insurance ( time involved with owning a home even with help, it was still a lot of responsibility.

    The financial cushion provided by not having a mortgage is quickly depleted with other costs of living in the house chipping away at retirement savings. There is a median of $315 in monthly housing costs for repairs, utility expenses, property taxes, homeowners insurance and HOA fees on a modest home. And there are other ancillary costs as well.

    cleaning big house never seemed to be done or the cost for a housekeeper Today it takes her only two hours to clean her entire house. ncludes cleaning out the refrigerator. liberated from the tyranny of household chores, upkeep,

    the looming uncertainty of major repairs which can cost thousands of dollars, you are open to all kinds of home repair ripoffs from insurance to the cost of a new roof when it is time or the deductible if there is damage.”maintenance costs” for home and yard Fewer things to fix around the home -Furnace or central air conditioner heating system goes out,

    hot water tank, clothes dryer, discolored siding or ceilings that indicate a leak, gutters full of leaves, broken windows , replace the fence sooner or later, hiring someone to clean dirty windows, guttering, caulking, weatherstripping painting the house , updating, trees trimmed or cut if one dies, annual termite inspection, change the lightbulb or smoke alarm battery over the stairwell or a pipe leaks, you have to fix it yourself or hire a professional. pipes freeze

    Required to fix house up to a certain level if After a few years the roof or siding needs to be repaired or replaced, exterior of your house needs to be re-painted…etc.

    “plumbing backs up or the dishwasher is busted”.

    one of the downsides are energy costs-always rising utility costs for heating and cooling, even for unused rooms, water and trash, .-for just one person. spending more every month to heat and cool -heating and air conditioning for space you don’t use and tinier utility bills/ while you enjoy a lower energy bill in the warmer and cooler months. allows you to cut your utility bills,Lower heating and cooling costs-2nd heating system for as long as you are in it. From heating and cooling costs/ . big heating bills ( Save on Utilities less energy to heat and cool,

    mowing and buying and maintaining mowing equipment or for a fee someone else can maintain the yard….you may need lawnmower IF your property has lawn, then in spring/summer/fall, you need to cut the grass on regular basis or pay someone else to do it; yard work evry weekend in the summer. Garden’s or tree’s maintenance efforts – when the money could be spent on other things…watering the yard

    n winter, you need to shovel the snow off your driveway or sidewalk because had you being a renter – those tasks would be the land-lord’s responsibility. snow shovels

    eliminate yard work and snow shoveling- iLess expense and less time cutting the grass or fixing things equals more time and pocket change left to enjoy your retirement

    Less space to fill means less money spent on furniture and decorations new furniture,

    get rid of your mortgage or trade it for a smaller one. estimated $500-$600 a month savings with a smaller mortgage, less property tax and tinier utility bills.

    Smaller homes give the added benefit of reducing your carbon footprint /which puts less stress on our planet.
    Seeing a return on investment in downsizing.
    money set aside to spend annually on .”It all adds up

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Many who want to age in place at home often find that its impossible even if their home is paid for.
    When a spouse dies finances change for many. The loss of a spouse means one of the Social Security checks goes away, yet the bills continue. All the handyman things her husband did a widow must now pay someone to do.DECLUTTER- See Packrat’s Prayer When you live in a home that’s packed with stuff and clutter, chances are your air quality is not as healthy as homes with fewer things. Why? Because homes that are cluttered are almost always dustier and dirtier than homes without it. They are much more difficult and time-consuming to clean.Owning a house full of stuff is also often stressful. You worry about it. You groan when you have to clean it or move stuff around.This stress can also negatively impact your health.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Mortgaging his home to pay his late wife’s medical bills one homeowner now pays the high monthly payment, taxes, insurance, maintenance while barely squeaking by, in order to have something to leave his daughter to inherit. While that is thoughtful paying a crippling mortgage each month on a house when you don’t even use the whole house (especially if it is a two story) and putting oneself in a bind can end up leaving the kids nothing anyway….

    The house is not appreciating to offset the money he is making in monthly mortgage payments. It hasn’t been updated to make it worth more and he certainly cannot do it now. Spending all ones savings by staying in a home there is nothing left for their kids to inherit.

    The kids can realize less money, as an estate home typically sells for less because the kids just want to get rid of it, instead of having to keep paying to set on market, while they now pay the utilities, maintenance, repairs, tax, insurance, HOA etc. which can deplete what you wanted to give your child. Every day it sets there with money going out. Due to timing of market- if it is a buyer market and interest rates are high, your kids are going to lose. You might come out ahead and have more to leave your kids by selling and saving what you would have been hanging on and throwing away to

    The bottom line: It is better to have money to live on during ones lifetime than to struggle along, always under stress on how to pay bills on a large home plus food and meds.

    A smaller home can help keep one from losing the investment they had in family home to reverse mortgage or or to tax lien when they can move into a smaller house, instead of a nursing home.

    Less can mean more. A condo with an elevator to underground parking sounds good to me. Stairs can be a danger for those who have trouble walking
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • Anna C. says:

      Thanks anyway but we Millenials don’t want your old two-story homes. We are minimalists and like the freedom (and monetary savings) a smaller one story brings since we do not having the upkeep on a big house. We don’t want formal dining room furniture so don’t offer us Grandma’s. We prefer a sharing economy,(think UBER) if we need something .

    • Justin says:

      House without a front step for those who can step.

  5. Pammie says:

    Oakcreek in Stillwater, OK was started by an initial group of eight households who wanted a housing alternative, in-between the suburban house and independent living. They liked the idea of something different from a typical Senior Community; communal living, but NOT medically based.

    Popular in Denmark, co-housing, has recently spread to the U.S. The concept, where active Seniors find the community first, then collaborate to design an environment where physical and social needs are met provides a new solution to living independently. Living in a safe, secure and affordable community with neighbors they choose, with whom they share a common bond of age and experience supports physical social, and emotional well-being, overcoming the isolation problem and allowing them to flourish as they age.

    Everyone owns their own home; which range from 700-1200 sq ft. While money is not pooled each has equal ownership in a common house, where everyone can meet for dinner or movies or games at the common house.

    A window over the kitchen sink, lets one see into the common area what is going on out there. Porches are a certain size to facilitate socializing. You can be as social or introverted as you want.

    Manage your neighborhood and your own care with dignity, independence, safety, mutual concern, and fun, without giving up control or independent ownership.

    Say goodbye to chores such as mowing the yard each week and the expense of a big home which has more room than you need to be wasting on taxes and insurance.

    More about CoHousing:

    google co-housing
    Senior Cohousing Handbook
    http://www.cohousing.org/aging
    Boomers are designing their own retirement communities
    CoHousing might be coming to Tulsa!
    CONTACT: TulsaCoHo@gmail.com

    Some grocers now let you order fresh groceries with same day pickup AND they will load the car for you.)

    • Donna says:

      Build or buy your retirement home before you retire so you can enjoy it now. Use it on the weekend and vacations and you can expand or adapt it gradually so it can function as a permanent residence.

  6. Lynne says:

    Tulsa-area home sales rose nearly 5 percent* in February 2016 over Feb 2015. This is attributed to:

    • a low housing inventory- decrease of almost 27% homes available on the market in Feb 2016 compared to Feb 2014.
    • There is a shortage of homes for buyers due, in part, to the current incredibly low mortgage interest rates.
    • high demand -“Houses just are not staying on the market very long. When you find a house that you like, you better buy it because there are people behind you waiting in line. Average days on the market dropped 6.18 percent, from 59.14 to only 55.49 days.

    The demand for homes pushed the average “sold” price up from the previous year, yet there are 11.4 % fewer new listings!

    *Average home prices went up 4.49 percent in February 2016 versus the previous year.

  7. Tristan says:

    REALTORS, DEVELOPERS, BUILDERS DO YOU see the opportunity?

    It stimulates economy and tax base as people get into their forever home…..

    Some who benefit as people downsize/rightsize into a new home:
    * builders, remodelers, subcontractors,
    * manufacturers of, home improvement stores selling, and installers of carpet, granite and painters
    * title companies
    * Realtors
    * RE Assistant
    * Repurposers
    * Stagers
    * RE photographers
    * professionals who help people declutter, organize their possessions and arrange their homes so each person has some personal space.
    * moving companies,
    * mortgage co/loan, banks
    * appraisers
    * landscapers
    * security alarms
    * non-profits who receive donated items
    * the owner who delutters and makes moneyfrom items they sell.

    • H. Eddy says:

      REALTORS People who have the homes and want to sell to downsize make for good listing opportunities.
      encourage people to plan ahead for your future by downsizing)

      Realtors: How are you preparing?
      Do you know all of the apartments or single story homes in your area that a person selling a bigger home might get into? What additions are close to shopping (malls, Walmart) and close to hospitals and doctors?

      Do you contact single story owners and tell them there are people wishing to downsize? This might be the time that the homeowner you contact is needing a bigger house. You might get two sales with one contact. Educate yourself on every aspect…sadly some wait until they get in a bind to finally decide to sell, however at that time if interest rates are high there might not be as many people who can afford to buy and the house will languish on the market.

      A real estate agent should know where the smaller — and good-quality — houses are. An experienced real estate agent can help you determine what the home is worth and provide options for cutting costs down to size. A true pro knows what it takes to get top dollar for your current home and negotiate the best deal on a new one.

  8. Paddy says:

    If you’re using your central AC to cool the whole house, don’t shut off rooms or seal their registers. By doing so you are cutting off part of the air supply the unit needs to operate efficiently during peak daytime loads. Compressor and fan sizes in central air systems are determined by the home’s cubic footage. Compressors run at one speed but if the fan moves less air over the cooling coils, heat is extracted less rapidly, making the unit run longer. More energy is used and frequent cycling causes premature wearing of the compressor, reducing its life span.
    From Action Line Tulsa World

    • Taylor says:

      TulsaWorld ~ World of Homes had a good article 3/12/2016 “Multi generational households were once the norm with children, parents and grandparents living together under the same roof.

      In recent years, they have become increasingly popular. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data, about a quarter of the U.S. population lived in a multi-generational home in 1940. However, by 1980, only 12% did. As of 2008, a record 49 million Americans, or 16.1 percent of the total U.S. population, lived in a family household that contained at least two adult generations or a grandparent and at least one other generation, according to the Pew Research Center.

      Adult children return home and bring their kids and today, more and more, grandparents are raising their grandkids.

  9. Bart says:

    Should you own or rent? This article in the NY Times might surprise you.
    RENTING IN A SENIOR ELDER APT

    Downsizing into a smaller and more affordable home…or sell your washer, dryer, fridge and other things you don’t need and put that in savings for a significant boost to your retirement savings nest egg when you move into an apartment .

    Retirement savings can stretch further if you relocate to a place with less expensive housing.

    Fort Smith, AR is one: Retirees age 65 and older who have a mortgage pay a median of $863 in monthly housing costs in Fort Smith.
    Don’t have to deal with people cutting through your yard, dogs pooping, fixing things

    In a lot of ways, you’re saving money when rent because you don’t have to shell out for annoying (and costly) expenses like repairs, landscaping, snow removal, heat and hot water–and sometimes you even get free access to the building’s gym.

    statistics show that approximately 50 percent of people choose to live in apartments , not because they have to. Millennials, baby boomers and retirees alike are preferring apartments because of the freedom to travel without having to worry about the maintenance, expense and headaches that come along with homeownership. Thus, more disposable income….

    The mobility to change jobs, which helped advance career.- It’s better to rent if your life is in flux, some people have to change jobs every 4-5 years, but their company will pay the costs.If you believe you’re going to be in a house less than five years and want to sell it at a profit, most experts suggest it’s safer to stick with renting.The recent growth and competition in multifamily development has caused all of the developers to upgrade their amenity package. We’re always trying to make our newest development better than the last.

    If you rent you let someone else worry about all the details (mowing, no longer have to maintain the yard -buying a mower, gas, edger and then get out there every 10 days in the heat, don’t have to trim trees, repair the fence, don’t have to shovel the snow, paint the house, put on a new roof, pay for a new heating or air conditioner, or a security system. fixing, messing with the real estate taxes, insurance and HOA fees. Air-conditioning not working? Call the maintenance guy. The maintenance, in particular, can’t be underestimated.

    Moving into a rental property you might be able to use what you save in taxes and insurance from not owning to make a couple of payments in rent each year. Rent may go up each year but when you stay in a home so do taxes and insurance and you still have the expenses of watering the yard, roof…..

    Electric and gas bills would be less might be less if you are in a smaller place such as an apartment. (Imagine just writing one check a month and then if anything goes wrong you can make one call and don’t worry about it. Sit in the backyard sunning yourself while the maintenance crews are a flurry around you.

    Apartments for Seniors– subsidized by govt might even have more security

    Also read: Retiring on a shoestring

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Think ahead- as we age: single story vs two-story , walk in shower & tubs and handrails needed?
    What do you want to live near? If you live near a mall you can go there to walk (exercise) for free

  10. Bart says:

    When selling your home

    How to get your house sold so it doesn’t languish on the market while you keep having to chop the price to get is sold. ~ Selling your house

    What clenched the deal was the huge beds of perennials planted by the previous owner.

    The appeal of an an attractive neighborhood……

    Before making an offer, potential buyers look at the houses on the block ( in a neighborhood,) to see how well maintained and attractive they are. When the neighbor hood looks good before you put up a “For Sale” sign it helps your home sell quicker. No cars parked in the yard or jay-parked on the street. If you see this, report it to your Mayors Action Center (MAC)as there are city codes that prohibit this. You pay your taxes for the city to work to keep your neighborhood nice, so it doesn’t become a bad ares, use the MAC if you need to. Call the city to have cars removed that have trailers or boats removed.

    A FEW TIPS

    Curb appeal can sell your house– a beautifully painted door, not some drab color, with fresh paint on the house trim and garage door, a mailbox that isn’t rusted or falling over, but painted and looking great, shutters on the windows….some pretty flowers, grass cut and edged, weeds sprayed, no toys in the yard or sidewalk chalk. Trash cans out of sight. Make sure the leaves are out of the flowerbed and put in new mulch so the flowers “pop”.

    -Make sure the front porch and even your doorbell is spotless. We usually don’t notice the doorbell as we don’t ring it ourselves, but others do and many times the lotion they had on their hands make it greasy and dirty.
    -No cobwebs on the front porch, no dirty flowerbeds. Bright, colorful flowers and plants on the front porch, a pretty wreath on the door says I love my home and a cute welcome mat are very inviting. (Big colorful mums and a pumpkin to greet people in the fall)
    -Make it easy for Realtors to show. If you request “By Appointment only” or that it only be shown only during certain hours the prospective buyer who does shift work may have to pass it up if they can’t be available those hours Even if it is gorgeous, if you block people that way you have less opportunity to get it sold. Realtor can help with a lockbox.
    -Don’t set your sales price too high…unless you are willing to pay 1% more to realtors who can sell it by a certain date…as they do in some cities. You can come out ahead that way by selling it for top dollar ad faster.
    -Parking- get the cars out of the driveway. You want to make it easy for people to get in.
    -Spring is a great time to sell.

    DO NOT CHOOSE YOUR REALTOR AT RANDOM. Do NOT pick an agent just because they are a friend of a friend. Hire the right agent! Hiring a real estate agent is one of the more crucial decisions you will make when selling your home, so take your time.

    -Get referrals from friends who have actually used them—not because it is their relative. Find out in your are who gets the highest rankings in RE sales for listings? Check some of the listings they have online. Are they descriptive?

    Interview several realtors before you decide. Treat it like a job interview. It could be EXTREMELY expensive mistake if you don’t. Anyone who can pass the test to become licensed can be a Realtor. It doesn’t mean they are good at the job.

    -Go to open houses and see how the agent acts there.
    -Meet in the Realtor’s office to see how organized they are.
    -Look at other properties they have listed and talk to those clients.
    – Does the Realtor have an exit survey from past clients where he/she asks for info that can lead to testimonials and reviews to help you know more about the Realtor? You want to know that that real, live people endorse your Realtor.
    -Make a checklist of things to ask. You can use my list below.

    GET THE FOLLOWING IN WRITING AFTER YOU INTERVIEW THE REALTORS TO ASCERTAIN EXACTLY HOW THEY PLAN TO GET YOUR HOME SOLD QUICKLY AND FOR TOP DOLLAR

    MARKETING YOUR HOME
    Make sure as you interview Realtors you ascertain exactly how they are going to market your home. This is important as only a little advertising by your Realtor will mean your home languishes on the market and you will have to start cutting the price over ad over. Marketing 101. To sell em, you gotta tell em, to compel the prospect to buy. Ask your Realtor: if from the day the sign is put up they will have had professional photographers already there and the pictures posted online.

    -Expert real estate agents today are creating an awesome website for each of their listings.

    -Flyers concise and to the point, not too wordy?

    Adding photos and video is important because people from all over the world can view your listing and potential buys like an easy way to see a property. (EXCELLENT real estate photography is a must!)

    MAKING YOUR HOME LOOK GREAT FOR THE PHOTOGRAPHS?
    – Will your realtor bring in a professional stager to help? Staged homes sell quicker and for more money. A minimum amount of staging is always less than 1st price reduction.

    PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR HOME
    Successful real estate relies heavily on great photography. Bad photos will diminish interest in even the greatest of properties. It’s absolutely vital that you have gorgeous photos of your properties. Hire a professional photographer (preferably with experience photographing homes and architecture)This is one of those scenarios when it pays to bring in the professionals. Professional, attention-grabbing photography is one of the strongest assets toward selling a listing quickly. Always a good idea to consult a professional in order to achieve the best looking pics possible. They have editing programs and equipment that the average person may or may not have. The photographer should use a wide angle lens to make it look twice as big and the professional photographer knows to photograph it while the house is staged
    Professional Real estate photographers vs Realtor on the cheap taking their own photos – The DIY pictures are almost always terrible!
    -The professional photographer knows to play up the storage and all the important features. Emphasizing seasonal things- If there is a pool or a beautiful backyard, highlight it.

    Make sure your Realtor understands that you are keenly aware that great photography is imperative to getting your house sold. The NAR reports that 90% of buyers use the internet to search on line and find a home before actually going out. If the photos of your home are just average it will cost you money as people don’t bother to come look at it.

    DESCRIBING YOUR HOME

    Creativity counts in selling your home. How is the Realtor describing your home? It should include words with colorful and warm adjectives that draw people in. (Do not let them put ‘motivated seller’ which means they can offer you lots less, or ‘cozy’ which means it is a shoebox, or ‘as is’ which means a lot of work, and ‘up and coming’ means a bad neighborhood. If they put ‘owner anxious-all offers considered’ then you will get bottom dollar offers. (Example of good words to see in an ad…inviting, cheerful, warm, welcoming, sunny, bright, well cared for….a covered front porch to enjoy the soft spring rains…much sought after single story home… ) You might even want to help write this as you know it better than anyone. Most people don’t buy a home just based on its looks or amenities, but they will often be persuaded by emotional storytelling idea which can connect with potential buyers’ hearts, and make an empty wooden box seem like a home that has served many families in the past. A good realtor would play to all angles, and sell people on the future of their family in that home, not just on the features it may have. (CREDIT: COMMENT FROM SANDY TULL http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2015/04/16/real-estate-marketing )

    ADVERTISING YOUR HOME
    – What websites will your Realtor put it on? Will they put a virtual tour on line and if so, where? Their company’s real estate site and also youtube with a 360-degree virtual tour? Will they put it on Zillow and Trulia?Will they include the floor plan? Do they set it up on shortband radio? How often will they hold an open house? Pinterest boards are a great way to provide images and information for specific listings. You can create a Pinterest board for a single property that, in addition, to property photos, highlights major benefits of the area. Pinterest boards and social media( Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and even Instagram) have become a big tool that any business can use for marketing.

    -Add social sharing to property pages is a great way for the homeowners to get involved in marketing their property. Shoppers can share their favorites, too. Being present online is essential.

    OTHER IDEAS

    -Have a living estate sale in your home (call it a pre-estate sale or a repurposers event)or if a neighborhood garage sale is scheduled be sure you open that garage and sell a few things as people love to stop at those, thinking they will get a better bargain at the garage sale, but often we have found they fall in love with a house they may have never, otherwise even been looking for or they may have a friend or relative they tell. Advertise it well with flyers, arrows pointing the way and Craigs List.
    -Invite neighbors for tea or a block party, even if you don’t know them well. This gives them the chance to see the home so they can talk it up to their family and friends.
    -If your neighbors homes look nice and inviting it is a real plus. You might want to buy them some flowers to plant. Your Realtor might even have a coupon ‘deal’ with a local store to get you a discount on flowers.
    https://tulsage.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/maintenance-checklist-to-prepare-your-house-to-be-sold/

  11. M.L says:

    It is hard enough to get around in a wheelchair but a two story is an obstacle course and hard to get to bathroom in time. Heart patients and bad knees find it hard to climb.

    Millenials got it right in wanting smaller homes on one level.
    Big 2 story houses are an albatross and money/time suck. A two story eats up so much space on both floors you could be using for storage. That sq footage of the stairwell and around it is counted in your total square footage so you pay taxes and insurance on unusable space. Plus the celings and walls on stairs need to be dusted (somehow) every week.)What a rip off!

    Avoid these 5 curb-appeal mistakes Thinking of putting your house up for sale? Shannon Petrie of HGTVs FrontDoor.com offers these tips for what not to do when prepping your home’s exterior and landscape for a sale. Cluttered driveway. A car parked in the driveway could suggest to potential buyers that the house Isn’t big enough to store everything, so you had to put the overflow in the garage and park your vehicle outside. It’s also distracting in online pictures. Eyesore neglect The rusty carport, rotted wood shutters and tattered awnings have been there so of color, such as a red front door or blue shutters. Personal possessions. Religious dcor, lawn ornaments or kids’ toys scattered throughout the yard are a huge no-no. Store these distracting items out of sight. Dead on arrival. Gardens may not look great out of season, but you can spruce them up by getting rid of dead leaves and plants. long your eyes just move right past them, but buyers will notice. Getting rid of outdated or dilapidated features of your home’s exterior will drastically improve curb appeal with minimal effort Garish colors. Not all home-buyers will appreciate your home’s bright pink exterior. Choose a neutral hue for your home’s siding and

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