CIOReview Names First Preston HT to Honored List

Picture3Released on Wednesday March 30, 2016 was the latest edition of CIOReview Magazine which features the 20 Most Promising BPM Solution Providers for 2016.  A distinguished panel of CEOs, CIOs, analytics, and the CIOReview editorial board made this selection and produced an article for their publication that looked into how these solutions alleviate the challenges pertaining to operation management and how solution providers help clients stay a step ahead of the competition.  We are honored to be selected as one of the top players from the competitive field of BPM Solutions providers.

CIOReview notes that business processes are at the heart of what makes or breaks a business.  They concluded that First Preston HT sets itself apart from the competition by realizing the need for optimized process automation and operational intelligence solutions such as Business Process Management (BPM), which allows clients to deliver accelerated business growth through multi-model customer engagement and effective delivery of unique customer demands.

First Preston HT provides technology-based solutions and services that enable online real-time exchange of information and automation of business processes.

Millennials and Real Estate | Not Your Parents Market

Millennial Buyers words on a home for sale or house real estateThe largest segment of the population with purchasing power is now Millennials, and frankly today’s real estate market is not like their parents market.  According to the 15 Economic Facts about Millennials published in October of 2014, Millennials [those born between 1980 and the mid-2000s] are the generation that will shape our economy for decades to come.  Being the most diverse and educated generation to date, it is no wonder that they have become the overwhelming target of real estate marketing in most areas.  With increased success and opportunities it is somewhat surprising that Millennials are less likely to be homeowners in comparison to those their age in generations before.

Due to the recession, repayment of student loans, and the broader acceptance of children living with their parents well into their late twenties and early thirties, most Millennials are putting off the purchase a home until later in life.  According to an August press release from Zillow, Americans are renting for an average of six years before buying a first home, spending more for that new home, they are older and more likely to be single.  The chart from Zillow’s press release below shows the changes in first time home buyers over the past 30 years.  The price to income ratio gap continues to grow and saving for a necessary down payment will become more difficult as the cost of living outpaces wages and the increasing unattainable rental market surges due to demand.

On the flip side an article published by HousingWire in July on why you can’t blame Millennials for low homeownership rates – stop the blame game, noted a study of generational trends by the National Association of Realtors.  Their research shows some different numbers as well as greater preparation and more research than previous generations.  While Millennials are not forming the traditional households, they are still purchasing and doing so in a more diverse buying pattern.

Regardless of how you interpret the multiple studies, statistics, and analyzed data that is out there, owning a home is still the American Dream!

To learn more about the innovative products and services offered at First Preston HT, visit us at First Preston HT | Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter.

Tailgating Traditions | First Preston HT

First Preston HTSummer is now officially over and today was the first day of Fall!  Kids young and old across the nation have settled back into school routines.  This also means football season is well underway and here at First Preston HT we love college football.  It’s time to make some new friends, revive old rivalries, and plan some memorable tailgate parties!

Tailgating is an American tradition that is often marked by a great mix of fanatical sports fans, savory foods and ice cold drinks.  Every college has their own tailgating traditions and here are a few that stand out.

  • First Preston HTTCU (Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, TX) Football fans host their tailgate at Frog Alley where there is live music, live radio broadcasts, and bounce houses.
  • SMU (Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX) holds its southern style tailgates on “The Boulevard” which is the main strip that runs down the center of campus.  Students dress to the nines and enjoy a parade by the band and cheerleaders that leads football fans to Ford Stadium for the game time kickoff.
  • Ole Miss’ (University of Mississippi in Oxford, MS) hosts their tailgates on The Grove, a picturesque ten acre area lined with trees, while keeping things classy and sophisticated as students as well as alums wear their best in school colors and Rebel pride.  This is far from the typical parking lot atmosphere.
  • UT (University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN) fans tailgate on boats off the docks outside of Neyland Stadium on the Tennessee River as part of what is known as the “Vol Navy”, a flotilla of some 200 vessels, some tricked out with slides and bubbly hot tubs.
  • LSU (Louisiana State University in Pineville, LA) Tiger fans are known for putting extra effort into their pregame grub, offering up dishes like jambalaya, fogs legs, alligator and crawfish.  For this reason they don’t mess around with the cookware either, they use massive grills, pots, smokers, etc.
  • Harvard (Harvard University in Cambridge, MA) hosts a wine and cheese soiree the night before their big game against college rival, Yale.  Pre-game events such as alumni luncheons,  recent grad get-togethers, and family events take place as well.  Also of note is the joint Harvard-Yale tailgate parties that take place in the fields next to the host stadium each year.

First Preston HT wants to know: What are your favorite tailgating traditions?

For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Home Swimming Pool: To Build or Not to Build

There is no getting around the heat this time of year.  It’s hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk here at the First Preston HT corporate site.  Most of us crave ice cold drinks and dips in a cool swimming pool to rescue us from the sweltering sun.

First Preston HTFor those that live in apartment or condo dwellings, swimming pools are generally part of offered amenities that are easily taken advantage of during the summer.  Some homeowners and renters have the option of going to a community pool if there is one nearby, or better yet, can enjoy a refreshing swim if a swimming pool is right in their backyard.

Since not all homes have swimming pools to offer relief from the long summer days, it can be more than temping to seriously contemplate a decision to make this an addition to your backyard landscape.  But what are the costs involved and is it worth the investment in the long term?  Deciding to add a swimming pool to your home is a big decision and it can be very helpful to implement some cost benefit analysis when reaching a decision.

Types of Swimming Pools:  First decide which type of swimming pool you want to have installed.  There are two main types: above ground and in-ground.

Costs:  Above ground swimming pools are much cheaper to have added to your home.  The average 19’ diameter above ground pool is $6,243 according to P.K. Data.   The average 32’x16’ in-ground swimming pool will cost $21,919.  Of course the size of the swimming pool and the depth directly affect the cost.  For every square foot of an in-ground pool, expect to pay around $50.

First Preston HTInstallation/Construction:  Above ground swimming pools might require some site preparation to level the ground area and provide access to electrical service for the pump that circulates the pool water.  In-ground swimming pools require site preparation as well but to a much higher degree.  The swimming pool is then lined.  A vinyl lining is the least costly averaging $18,000 while a fiberglass lining will run about $20,000.  If opting for concrete, the cost can run from $20,000 up to $50,000 to install.  In-ground pools also usually need a surrounding patio and fencing installed which will increase the overall cost.

Maintenance: The water treatment chemicals alone can cost around $80 a month for above ground swimming pools and $95 a month for in-ground pools.  Cleaning tools including brushes, a vacuum, covers, and heaters start around $400 and can increase into the thousands (a solar heater can cost around $5,000). These are just some of the basics.

Add-ons:  Perhaps you wish to add a diving board, slide, spa, or lighting to the in-ground pool.  If you opt to add these or other amenities to your swimming pool the cost can continue to increase.

First Preston HTHome Value: While it might be nice to have the convenience of a swimming pool in your backyard, what does it do for your overall home value and is it worth the investment?  Some experts say that having a swimming pool can actually make your home harder to sell as many buyers see it as a liability rather than a luxury.  However, in the right circumstances it could boost your home value by as much as 7% according to Houselogic estimates.  This is dependent upon the climate you live in, the pool to additional back yard ratio, whether you live in a higher-end neighborhood where most houses have pools, as well as the style of the pool and how it fits with the home design.

It is a significant investment and decision that comes with a commitment to maintenance that deserves your careful consideration.  In the end, if enjoying a cool refreshing dip in the water is something you desire, we hope you have access to a swimming pool nearby or in your own backyard to escape the summer heat.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Green Baby Products for your Home | First Preston HT

Little child exploring the green rice fieldI have had several friends in the past few month welcome new bundles of joy into their homes.  Our First Preston HT Team has also had a few new babies.  It’s an exciting time for new parents but can also be overwhelming.  Parents want the best for their children and with so many baby products on the market today, how do you know which ones are safe and healthy for them?

There are several mainstream baby products on available today that contain toxic ingredients that could be detrimental to your baby.  Opting to use natural, organic products, that are free of these ingredients will be better for your baby and give parents more piece of mind.  Here are a few of the toxic ingredients to avoid and suggestions for some natural products to use instead:

  1. Talc – This powdered mineral which can be found in baby powder (and cosmetic powders) is used as a drying agent but has been found to be carcinogenic (potential to cause cancer). Some companies have shifted to talc-free baby powders but make sure to read the label.  Green Choice California Baby Calming Organic Powder which is free from talc and uses organic lavender for scent instead of toxic fragrances.
  2. Mineral Oil – This oil is a cheap byproduct of the distillation of petroleum used to produce gasoline. It is found in baby oil and clogs skin pores acting as plastic wrap on the skin which can lead to breakouts.  Green Choice – Use organic nourishing oils like coconut or sweet almond to massage into your baby’s skin.
  3. Parabens – These are lurking pretty much everywhere and are known to disrupt hormones, cause skin irritation and reproductive toxicity.  Lower your baby’s exposure to them by checking the baby product labels of soaps, body washes, shampoos and lotions.  Green ChoiceEarth Mama Angel Baby Shampoo contains no toxic chemicals and is gentle on the skin.
  4. Propylene Glycol – This chemical enhances the penetration of difference substances and can be carcinogenic. It’s used in wiper fluid and for de-icing airplanes and can be found in baby wipes frequently.  Green Choice The Honest Co. Baby Wipes which are also chlorine-free.Baby accessories for bathing on table on light background
  5. 1,4-Dioxane & Ethylated Surfactants – While this is never listed as an ingredient, it’s been found in 57% of baby soaps and is a known breast carcinogen. Ingredients that contain the letters “eth” are an indicator that 1,4-dioxane is present.   Green ChoiceBurt’s Bees Baby Wash which is toxin free.
  6. Sodium Polyacrylate (SAP) – Found in the absorbent center of disposable diapers, this compound can lead to skin irritation, staph infections and other health problems. It was once used in tampons until it was found to be responsible for cases of Toxic Shock Syndrome.  Green Choice – Diaper services will deliver clean cloth diapers weekly or monthly and remove used and clean them for redelivery.  Another option is gPants and gDiapers which are disposable, dioxin and chlorine-free.
  7. Hydrogenated Cottonseed Oil – This skin conditioning agent may be contaminated with mercury, arsenic, lead and pesticides according to the Environmental Working Group. It can be found in moisturizers and ointments.  Green ChoiceThe Honest Co. Organic Healing Balm which is free from harsh chemicals, oils, and is hypoallergenic.

If you have a newborn First Preston HT congratulates you and hopes you find these tidbits on baby products helpful and informative.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Pet Safety for the Fourth of July | First Preston HT

20150703rs.bigstock-Fireworks-background-for-th-o-91509026-300x300As the First Preston HT team gets ready to celebrate our great nations’ adoption of the Declaration of Independence, (better known as the Fourth of July) images of picnics, barbeques, pool parties, and fireworks come to mind.  One of my favorite parts of celebrating the Fourth is watching incredible firework displays.

For those of us with furry family members it’s important to know how fireworks can affect our pets and how to practice pet safety.  Unfortunately they don’t enjoy the sounds and sights of fireworks like their human friends do.

In fact, the Fourth of July, when compared to other major holidays, reports the busiest day for animal shelters all year long.  The Indiana Protective Animal Welfare, Inc. (PAW) remarked that animal shelters on July 5 are “inundated with pets that panicked at the noise of firecrackers and fled into the night, winding up lost, injured or killed.”

So how can you keep your pets safe from this weekend’s festivities?  Here are ten tips provided by PetMD.com:

1. Keep your Pet Indoors at All Times! – It may seem obvious, but even if your pet is used to being outside, the resulting panic caused by fireworks or other loud noises may make them break their restraint or jump a fence in a terrified attempt to find safety.

2. Don’t Put Insect Repellent on Your Pet that isn’t Specifically for Pet Use – The same tip applies to applying “people” sunscreen on your pet. What isn’t toxic to humans can be toxic to animals.  The ASPCA lists the poisonous effects of sunscreen on your pet as, “…drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, and lethargy.”  DEET, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.

3. Alcoholic Drinks Poison Pets – If your pet drinks alcohol, they can become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma, or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.  Yes, even beer is toxic; fermented hops and ethanol are poisonous to dogs and cats.

4. Going to a Fireworks Display?  Leave Your Pet at Home – The safest place for your pet is at home, not in a crowded, unfamiliar and noisy place.  The combination of too many people and loud fireworks will make your beloved pet freak out and desperately seek shelter.  Locking them in the car is also not an option; your pet may suffer brain damage and heat stroke.

5. Have Your Pet Properly Identified – If your pet manages to break loose and become lost, without proper identification it will be that much harder to get them back.  Consider fitting your pet with microchip identification, ID tags with their name and your phone number, or both.  It is also a good idea to have a recent picture of your pets in case you have to put up signs.

Group of Patriotic dogs and cat6. Keep Your Pet Away from Glow Jewelry – It might look cute, but your pet could chew up and swallow the plastic adornments.  The ASPCA states that while not highly toxic, “excessive drooling and gastrointestinal irritation could still result from ingestion, and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing large pieces of the plastic containers.”

7. NEVER Use Fireworks Around Pets – While lit fireworks can pose a danger to curious pets and potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws, even unused fireworks can be hazardous.  Some fireworks contain potentially toxic substances such as arsenic, potassium nitrate, and other heavy metals.

8. Don’t Give Your Pet “Table Food” – If you are having a backyard barbeque, you may be tempted to slip some snacks to your pet.  But like beer and chocolate, there are other festive foods that could harm your pet.  Onions, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt, and yeast dough are all possible hazards for dogs and cats.

9. Lighter Fluid and Matches Are Harmful to Pets – The ASPCA lists chlorates as a harmful chemical substance found in some matches that, if ingested, can cause your pet difficulty in breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease.  If exposed to lighter fluid, your pet may sustain skin irritation on contact, respiratory problems if inhaled, and gastric problems if ingested.

10. Citronella Insect Control Products Harm Pets Too – Oils, candles, insect coils and other citronella-based repellents are irritating toxins to pets, according to the ASPCA.  The result of inhalation can cause severe respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia, and ingestion can harm your pet’s nervous system.

First Preston HT wishes you, your family and pets a safe and happy Fourth of July.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Green Cleaning with First Preston HT

Natural Spring CleaningGoing green is certainly not a new term, especially when it comes to cleaning products.  Green cleaning products are made without toxic chemicals and environmentally harmful ingredients, making them safe for humans and our furry friends.  The average household contains around 62 toxic chemicals according to environmental experts.  Many people are making the switch in their homes to these safer products but what’s really lurking in your conventional household cleaners? Your First Preston HT team did the dirty work and we found what’s hiding in conventional cleaners and offer some green cleaning options.

1. Ammonia –found in polishing agents, glass, and window cleaners.  It keeps surfaces free from streaks. Ammonia is a strong irritant that can lead to chronic bronchitis and asthma from frequent exposure.  Individuals already diagnosed with asthma or elderly people are at higher risk of symptoms.

Green Choice:  Use toothpaste for polishing silver and vodka for any metal or mirrored surfaces to create a nice shine.  Also check out natural cleaners at your local Whole Foods or other natural grocery store.

2. Phthalates – found in several household products with added fragrance (i.e. air fresheners and hand soaps) that increase their flexibility, transparency and longevity.  Look for these abbreviations: DBP, DEP, BzBP, and DMP.  This ingredient doesn’t have to be listed by law so if you see the word “fragrance” on the label it’s safe to assume this means that phthalates is present.

Phthalates are endocrine (hormone) disruptors which have been linked to low testosterone levels in men, interference with normal brain function, and could result in Autism, Breast Cancer, Testicular cancer and reduced sperm counts.

Green Choice:  Opt for fragrance free or products that use organic essential oils.

3. Triclosan – found in liquid dishwashing cleaners as well as antibacterial hand soaps is an aggressive antibacterial compound.  Scientific evidence has documented its adverse health effects, including endocrine function particularly to the thyroid, and skin irritation.  Some reports have even shown that these antibacterial products are no more effective than regular soaps.

Green Choice:  Avoid products labeled “antibacterial” and look for a hand sanitizer with natural ingredients that are alcohol-based.

First Preston HT4. 2-Butoxyethanol – found in multi-purpose cleaners including window and kitchen cleaners.  This chemical gives products a sweet smell and is not required by law to be listed on the product’s ingredient list.  Exposure to this can cause sore throats.  If you are cleaning in a confined area you can be exposed to levels that are higher than the workplace safety standards according to the EPA.  High exposure can contribute to narcosis, server liver and kidney damage, and pulmonary edema.

Green Choice:  Use diluted vinegar with newspaper to clean mirrors and windows or opt for making your own at DIY – home cleaner using baking soda, vinegar and essential oils.

5. Sodium Lauryl/Laureth Sulfate (SLS) – found in many soaps and detergents including shampoo, hand cream, toothpaste and cleaners.  This chemical helps to break down surface tension in water.   SLS has been known to cause skin inflammation and might mimic estrogens, cause hair loss, damage teeth and could lead to cancer.

Green Choice:  Opt for organic or natural cleaning products like Mrs. Meyer’s or Method which is carried at most home retailers and grocery stores.

Making the switch to green cleaning products isn’t just helpful to the environment; it’s good for you, your children and your pets.  It’s important to be an informed consumer.  While these green cleaning products can cost more they can be worth it in the end.  You can even make your own cleaning products from items you probably already have in your kitchen cabinets for budget friendly cleaning solutions.

First Preston HT hopes you found these tidbits useful to keeping your home a safe, clean, and happy place.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Your Mortgage and Your Retirement | First Preston HT

Senior couple at new home. Retirement security concept.It’s not uncommon to hear homeowners say one of their financial priorities is to pay off their mortgage as quickly as possible.  The First Preston HT Blog team hears this topic discussed all the time from people in their early 30’s to those nearing retirement.  The thought of being debt free and owning your home free and clear brings a sense of security and comfort.

The financial crisis that began in 2008 is still fresh on our minds and has led many people to approach their finances, including their mortgage, with a more conservative nature, think along the lines of “pay off all debts and save, save, save.”  This seems like fairly logical and prudent advice.

But the decision to refinance into a short-term loan or make extra mortgage payments might not be the best advice for everyone.  If you are nearing retirement and don’t have an adequate amount in your retirement funds, directing your money into an illiquid asset (your house) might be a bad decision.  Here are a few points to consider before choosing to pay off your mortgage as quickly as possible.

Do you have enough money in savings?
  It’s very important to have an emergency fund that can cover three to six months’ worth of living expenses.  Earlier data from Bankrate.com indicates that only 38% of Americans have enough money in savings to pay for unexpected expenses.  This is a goal that everyone should work toward regardless of whether you are a recent college graduate or nearing retirement.  If an emergency occurred like losing your job or needing a serious surgery, your home equity can’t pay these bills.

First Preston HTDo you have “bad debt?” You have probably heard the terms good debt and bad debt in regards to your credit score.  Bad debt includes high interest credit card balances.  Pay off these balances to keep from paying the attached high interest rates.  This will get you one step closer to achieving your debt free goals.  As a bonus, your credit score should improve which will be helpful if you do decide to refinance to a shorter term loan.

Are you maxing out contributions to your retirement accounts?  If you are just starting out in your career it’s a great idea to begin contributing a portion of your monthly earnings First Preston HTto a retirement account.  The power of compounding rate of return should not be underestimated!  For those closer to retirement, specifically if you are 50 or older, the IRS allows what they call “catch up contributions” to be made to your IRA and 401(k).  These contributions are also tax free unless you have Roth accounts these funds are directed to.

If you have a solid emergency fund, have paid off all your bad debt and are maxing out our retirement contributions then you might consider paying off your mortgage in a shorter time frame.  If you don’t consider yourself financially savvy, seek financial advice from a profession who can  look at your personal financial situation offer customized advice.

First Preston HT hopes you found this information useful and that it will encourage you to plan for your financial future.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Remodeling Goes Digital |First Preston HT

Digital Tablet With Diy ToolsHome renovation is booming based on recent retail sales reports that show strong performance for retail home improvement companies such as Home Depot.   Here at First Preston HT and Castle Peak Homes, we know a thing or two about remodeling and what an undertaking it can be, especially if it’s your first time.  There are some new websites that are promising to help make your home project less of a hassle.

Remodeling companies and professionals are hopping on the digital bandwagon in hopes of reaching those that prefer to do things via their smart phone or tablet.  Architects, contractors, plumbers, design-build firms, as well as product manufactures are starting to offer their services on sites like Houzz, Porch, Remodelaholic, DIY Network and HGTV.   While this is an extra cost for these service providers, it appears to be paying off.

Houzz is a website and mobile app for home remodeling and design that brings together homeowners and home professionals.  The website offers consumers beautiful photos of homes by room for design inspiration, a professional service locator, a way to buy home furnishings and advice on remolding.   If you are thinking about remodeling and looking for tips or inspiration, this is a great place to start.

luxury kitchen with new cabinets and slate floorPorch is another online company that helps connect homeowners with local professionals.  It also provides a free resource, the Porch Home and Neighborhood Report, for understanding the remodeling and project history of a specific home as well as neighborhood data on completed projects.  This report is offered for any active listing on Realtor.com.  Like Houzz, they too provide lots of inspirational photos of impressive renovations which include project cost and the professionals that completed the project.

Remodelaholic (the name speaks for itself) features guest bloggers that touch on topics addressing DIY projects that homeowners can tackle themselves to save money as well as other homestead areas of interest.

DIY Network and HGTV, both cable network channels, provide resources for how-to and DIY projects as well as photos of remodels and videos providing tips and advice.  In case you haven’t caught them on TV while channel surfing, they also air several different television shows that focus around remodeling and DIY projects in and around the home.

Try utilizing one or more of these resources for your next home remodel.  We hope it inspires you and makes the process enjoyable. For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.

Tips for Selling Your House | First Preston HT

20150330rs.bigstock-Cozy-house-with-beautiful-land-84075557First Preston HT knows that deciding to put your house on the market can be a daunting task.  There is a lot that usually needs to be done before potential buyers come for a tour.  It’s a great time to be a seller in this housing market.  If you are selling, that means you’re most likely buying too and don’t want to over spend on getting your property looking its best for listing.  Making some smaller updates to your home can help you bring a higher selling price without making a large dent on your wallet.  So how can you squeeze the most value out of your home?  Here are a few tips from First Preston HT.

  1. Create more space by knocking out a non-load bearing wall. Buyers want wide open floor plans that make the house feel more spacious.    This will cost you around $2,500 but can really make a big impact on the selling price.  If you just moved into a home with a closed off floor plan, it might be a good idea to go ahead and do this so you can enjoy the benefits a more open floor plan before selling it years later.  If it’s a load bearing wall that will have to be knocked out, this will cost you more around the $10,000 range.
  2. Prune, trim back limbs and landscape your home to make it look more appealing. Landscaping is one of the top three investments that can bring the biggest return when looking to sell your house.  Spending around $400-500 on this can reap returns of four times your investment.  Consider the type of climate you live in and choose plants, trees, bushes, and flowers that will thrive without requiring a lot of extra maintenance.
  3. 20150330rs.bigstock-Man-Caulking-Window-6193157Don’t put off maintenance or repairs that your home is in need of.  This can greatly affect the value of your property when inspectors are evaluating it’s condition.  Make sure water drips are repaired, fix leaky windows, and replace rusty rain gutters.  Keep up with this type maintenance on a yearly basis so these repairs don’t build up and turn into bigger issues down the road.
  4. 20150330rs.bigstock-Living-Room-With-Stone-Firepla-6882470Update the floors. Hardwoods have been popular over the past several years as people are tearing up old carpets.  This update doesn’t have to cost a lot of money either.  Spending an extra $600-$900 on updated floors and can increases your home value by $2,000.  Hardwood surfaces are easier to keep clean and don’t trap dirt or stain like most carpet can.  Other types of hard surfaces that homeowners are installing include concrete, tile, bamboo and laminate.
  5. Update those bathrooms. This also can be done inexpensively by updating the sink and shower hardware.  Try using metal fixtures as mentioned in last week’s blog post for a trendy vibe.  Deep clean the shower, apply fresh caulk where needed and get rid of the frosted glass shower door with clear glass for a more updated look.
  6. Repaint and touch-up walls. While a lot of homebuyers will change the paint colors after they purchase a home to fit their color scheme, walls with chips or marks from wear and tear leave your home looking unkempt.  Fix paint chips or scratches with left over stored paint.  If you have any walls painted a bold color like red, blue or yellow, repaint these to a neutral tone.  Bold colors can have a negative impact on potential homebuyers that might not share the same taste in décor.

As home buying and selling season is around the corner, First Preston HT hopes you find these tips helpful if you are planning to sell your house soon.  For information on effective ways to manage institutional and individual portfolios nationwide, or to shop for real estate visit First Preston HT. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.