A Modern Lifestyle: The Benefits of Smart Home Technology

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Technology has been integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, helping to improve convenience and comfort for all to enjoy. Are you taking advantage of the smart home technology features that are available for your family? Whether you are building a new home or looking for ways to upgrade your current home, it is essential to evaluate the ways that you can use home technology.

Smart Home Technology: Stay Connected When You Are Away

Even if you are gone on vacation or spending the day at work, you can still maintain a connection to know what is going on at home. There’s no need to turn around after running out the door because you can’t remember if you closed the garage. Now, smartphone apps can be used to see real-time updates about your garage door, security system, climate control, and more.

At the same time, these technology features also give you the benefit of improving your daily lifestyle when you are in the house. For example, you can adjust the thermostat setting using an app, without the need to walk to another part of the house where the thermostat is installed on the wall.

Ideas for Smart Home Upgrades

What features should you install in your home? Here are some of the ways you can enjoy technology to upgrade your lifestyle:

  • Climate Control: Use technology to program the air conditioner based on your typical schedule. For example, if you are gone throughout the day, then you might have the air conditioner kick on 30 minutes before you typically arrive home from work, so the house is cooled down and comfortable for the evening.
  • Door Access: There’s no need to carry around a bulky set of house keys when you can unlock the door using technology. Your phone can be used to open the garage door or other doors in the house. You could give garage access to a neighbor remotely, then shut the garage after they are done.
  • Connection: WiFi and digital entertainment can be programmed so that children can only access it at certain times of the day. Parents often prefer to shut down the WiFi connection after a certain time each night, preventing the kids from playing games all night when they should be sleeping.
  • Appliances: You can connect appliances through internet access, or program these appliances to turn on at specific times. Schedule the coffee maker to kick on 15 minutes before you get out of bed. Or, use this digital access to turn the slow cooker on or off.

One of the greatest benefits of smart technology is that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home by reducing the electricity used for the lights and HVAC systems.

At DUFFY Realty, we want to help you find the home of your dreams. If you have questions about buying or selling a home in Atlanta, you are welcome to contact us any time for assistance: (678) 318-1700

Easy Ways to Boost the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

Easy Ways to Boost the Energy Efficiency of Your Home

How much are your utility bills affecting your monthly budget? It can be hard to manage your spending if excess energy use is driving up the utility costs. Instead of paying these expensive fees every month, it is time to take charge by upgrading your home with the best energy efficiency features.

Here are a few affordable tips that will help with energy efficiency improvements, without breaking the bank:

  • HVAC Maintenance and Cleaning: Most of the energy usage is due to the HVAC unit. An annual maintenance appointment and cleaning can be a great way to optimize the performance of the unit, helping to reduce the energy that is needed to heat or cool your home. Call a professional team for assistance. You might find that it makes sense to replace the unit instead of paying for repairs on an old HVAC system.
  • Add More Insulation: Even the best HVAC system will struggle if you don’t have good insulation to keep the hot or cold air inside. Adding more insulation can help you use less energy for indoor climate control because you will reduce the temperature loss. Consider insulation in the walls or lofts, depending on the design of your home.
  • Invest in Solar Power: If you don’t want to worry about the cost of the energy that is being used, consider the option to invest in a residential solar power system. Many homeowners find that the equipment payment is comparable to standard utility bills. But, you will enjoy the benefits of free energy when the equipment loan is paid in full. Or, pay for the solar power system in full upfront so that you can eliminate your monthly energy payments.
  • Install a Smart Thermostat: A few degrees can have a big impact on the amount of energy that is needed to heat or cool your home. But, it can be hard to remember when it’s time to change the settings on the thermostat. Instead of manually making the adjustments every morning and night, install a smart thermostat to automate these temperature adjustments. Not only can you program the thermostat, but you can also adjust the temperature through a smartphone app. It is nice to have the control to adjust the temperature when you are away on vacation.
  • Upgrade to LED Lights: LED lights offer up to 100,000 hours of low-energy lighting for your home. They are durable and offer an effective way to minimize the energy that is used when the lights are turned on.

There’s never been an easier time to add energy efficiency upgrades to your home. You will love the results when you are finished with these renovations! Plus, you will gain the benefits of higher property value in the future. Many home buyers prioritize energy efficiency when searching for real estate properties.

For more information about making your home appealing to potential buyers, talk to the real estate experts at DUFFY Realty: (678) 318-1700

Homeowner Mistakes that are Negatively Impacting the Value of Your Property

Homeowner Mistakes that are Negatively Impacting the Value of Your Property

Even though the real estate market is strong, there are a few homeowner mistakes that might be having a negative impact on the value of your property. You have invested in a great home for your family, so it is important to be sure that you are managing property value to prepare for the future. With a few small, proactive steps you can boost your property value and maximize your equity when you are ready to sell.

Outdated Plumbing Fixtures and Cabinet Hardware

A quick glance at the kitchen and bathroom sinks could have an immediate impact on the way someone values your home. It is normal for plumbing and hardware to wear out over time, so you need to take a proactive approach to replacing these items as needed.

Even if you don’t know a lot about plumbing, it is simple to switch out the sink faucet. Go to the hardware store to find a stylish, modern faucet. Then, check YouTube to find a tutorial that will guide you through the process. Or, an easier solution is to hire a local handyman who can handle these upgrades for you.

Old Kitchen Appliances

The cost of appliances can add up over time, so old kitchen appliances could be a deterrent to someone interested in purchasing your home. If the stovetop is rusted and worn and the fridge has a constant smell, then you need to invest in modern appliances. Not only will these tools improve the appearance of the room, but they will also make it easy when you are prepping meals for your family.

Neglected Home Exterior and Yard

Curb appeal plays a big factor in property value. What do people think when they pull up in front of your home? If the siding is falling off or the paint is chipped, then you need to invest a little money into renovations that will upgrade the outside appearance of the property.

Also, consider hiring a landscaper to mow the lawn, get rid of old bushes, trim the trees, and clean up other issues around the yard. These factors could influence the value of your property by as much as 5 – 10%!

Weak Doors and Windows

If the original doors and windows are still in place, then you might consider investing in an upgrade. Old windows typically have single-pane glass, which decreases the energy efficiency of the home. Additionally, worn window frames and damaged doors can have a negative impact on the appearance of your home. Improve the safety and comfort of the property with high-quality windows and doors that are built to last.

Are you interested in learning more about simple ways that you can boost your property value? Contact us at DUFFY Realty, and we will gladly make suggestions to help you maximize your equity. Call us anytime for more information: (678) 318-1700

4 Reasons You Need to Remodel the Bathroom

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The bathroom in your home should be designed to offer comfort, helping you enjoy a long relaxing soak after a busy day at work. Do you walk into your bathroom and enjoy the beautiful design and décor of the room? Or, does the bathroom make you cringe because it is old and outdated? If you don’t like the appearance of your bathroom, then right now might be the perfect time to create the sanctuary that you desire.

You will spend time every day in the bathroom, so it is important that you like the room. Whether you are buying a home that needs to be updated or you are looking for ways to improve your current home, you should consider the benefits of a bathroom remodel.

Here are four reasons why it might be time to update your bathroom:

1. Old Flooring

One of the worst trends was when carpet was used in the bathrooms. If you live in a home that has carpet in the bathroom, then it is time for an upgrade. Even if you only change the flooring, it can make a big difference to improve the appearance of the room and make it more comfortable. Plus, many homeowners find that it is easier to keep the bathroom clean and fresh with a hard floor instead of carpet.

2. Water Damage or Leaking Pipes

Look around the bathroom and see if you can identify any signs of water damage. In some situations, old pipes could start leaking and cause brown water stains on the walls, baseboards, or floors. Check the ceiling to see if you can identify any mold growing in the corners above the shower. Bathrooms without good ventilation can be a space that is prone to mold growth. If you see any signs of mold or water damage, then you need to fix the root problem and update the aesthetics of the bathroom at the same time.

3. Lighting Problems

Are you always squinting when you look in the mirror because you don’t have the right light to easily put on makeup in the morning? Poor lighting can make the bathroom feel dark and unwelcoming. It’s a problem if you can’t clearly see yourself in the mirror! Switch out the light fixtures and choose new energy efficient bulbs to create soft, cozy light that you will enjoy.

4. Poor Layout

Are you always looking for more storage space in your bathroom? Or maybe it is hard to open the door when someone is standing at the sink. These inconveniences can often be remedied with a bathroom remodel. Consider the placement of the cupboards and the design of the room. A few small adjustments can go a long way to making the room more accessible and comfortable.

At DUFFY Realty, we know that it is important that you love your home. Contact us to learn more about buying a dream home for your family: (678) 318-1700

To Remodel or Not To Remodel? When Contemplating Selling, That is the Question!

To Remodel or Not To Remodel? When Contemplating Selling, That is the Question!

To remodel or not to remodel… that is the question! If you are getting ready to sell your home, then it is likely that you are asking the same question posted by many other homeowners: should I remodel my home before listing it on the real estate market?

The answer to this question isn’t black-and-white. Instead, there are several factors that need to be considered to determine the right approach for selling your home. Here are a few things to think about:

Timeframe to Sell Your Home

Are you on a tight timeframe to move into a new home? The timeline might be restricted if you have already accepted a new job in a different location or if you want to get settled in before starting the next semester of school.

Renovations will slow down the process of renovating your home. So, if you are in a hurry to sell, then you might skip some of the bigger renovations so that you can quickly get the property on the real estate market.

Increase in Property Value

How much will your property value increase if you choose to remodel before selling? The offers that come in will be directly impacted by the quality of the home. If a property looks old and run down, then it is likely that potential buyers will come in with lower offers. They will see that a lot of time, money, and effort will need to go into improving the property before moving in. These factors can drive down the value of the property.

On the other hand, a few simple tasks can go a long way to set a better impression when someone walks through the door. A fresh coat of paint and new flooring can make a difference to help potential buyers feel comfortable when they are viewing your property.

Return on Your Investment

If you spend money on these remodeling projects, will you be able to get a return on your investment? There are situations where a homeowner can invest money for renovations and then profit even more from the higher selling price of the home.

The only way to measure the potential ROI of these renovations is by looking at other similar homes in the area. Talk with your real estate agent to make a cost comparison so that you can learn more about the price points of other properties in the neighborhood. You might find that a few thousand dollars of home renovations will increase the property value by more than what you invest in the property.

At DUFFY Realty our goal is to help you quickly sell your home and maximize your equity at the same time. If you are getting ready to put your home on the real estate market, then we invite you to contact us as soon as possible for more information. We can make some recommendations about the renovations that should be done before you sell your home: (678) 318-1700

Rookie Mistakes Made By First-Time Home Sellers

Rookie Mistakes Made By First-Time Home Sellers

Selling your first home can be an overwhelming experience. Most first-time home sellers are torn about their decision to move because they have so many happy memories shared with the family in the home. But, it is also exciting because moving is also an opportunity to move into a different home that may be a better fit.

If you are preparing to put your home on the market, it is important that you have a good real estate company to help with the listing. Since you haven’t yet been through the process of selling a home, an experienced real estate agent will be able to offer insights and advice so that you can quickly and easily sell your property.

To avoid rookie mistakes, here are a few things that you should talk about with your real estate agent:

Price of the Home

When you have an emotional attachment to property, it can be hard to understand its current value in the marketplace. Your agent will make it easier to set a reasonable asking price for the property by offering information about comparable homes in the area that have recently sold. Instead of stressing about the research yourself, let your real estate agent handle the details so that you can spend your valuable time on other important things.

Setting the right price will attract the right types of buyers. With the right price point and a good listing, you will be able to sell your home quickly. Many new home sellers make the rookie mistake of setting the listing price too high, which scares away potential buyers.

Amateur Real Estate Listing

The listing photos and descriptions matter, because the listing is your opportunity to connect with people who are potentially interested in buying your property. You need to make sure that you are setting the right impression when people are browsing the listings online.

An amateur real estate listing is easy to identify, especially if it includes poor quality photos, the listing is lacking in information or even grammar errors. Let your real estate agent help with the listing and make sure that you bring in a professional photographer to help.

Home Staging

If you want to set the right impression when potential buyers visit your home, you need to make sure the space is open, clean, and inviting. It is a mistake to leave personal items where they have always been! Take some time to clean out the closets, clear the clutter, and make your home look presentable. These steps can go a long way to set a great impression when someone walks through the door.

At Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we are here to help you avoid these rookie mistakes. We offer the leading real estate services in the Atlanta area, and we will work hard to be sure that you receive the best service when you are buying or selling a home. Contact our team for more information: (678) 318-1700

Tips to Connect with the Right Home Buyer for Your Property

Tips to Connect with the Right Home Buyer for Your Property

Selling a home can be easy if you know the right things to do so that you can connect with a buyer who is interested in your property. Whether you are getting ready to sell your home or your home has been listed on the market without a successful sale, Duffy Realty of Atlanta can help!

Why Isn’t Your Home Selling?

Some homeowners are surprised that their home is having a hard time selling, but they aren’t familiar with the real estate market and the things that need to be done so that they can connect with the right buyers. The truth is that there are a number of factors that will impact the sale of your home, so it is important that you are working closely with a real estate professional to learn more about the market. Here at Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we know what works, and we offer fast results to each of our clients.

Once you know where to start, it can be easy to improve your success with the real estate listing. These are a few things that you should keep in mind:

Quality of Your Property Listing

Do you have a good property listing on the MLS? The property listing will attract potential buyers, and it is the foundation to successfully selling your home. Make sure that you have high quality photographs, a great description of the property, and all of the applicable details for the home.

More information is better, and it is beneficial to have professional photos and a professional description. Some people are interested in a do-it-yourself approach with their property listing because they are worried about the cost, but it is worth spending a little bit of money to get it done right.

Talk with the Buyers

When a buyer visits your home and they aren’t interested in purchasing it, have a conversation about why they don’t want the property. These conversations can give you some ideas about things that can be changed to make the home more attractive to the right buyers.

Boost Curb Appeal

First impressions matter, especially when you are selling a home. A few small repairs can go a long way to improve the overall appearance of the home, which can help to boost curb appeal at the same time. Spend a little time cleaning up the yard, painting, or fixing small problems around the property.

Remember that these improvements can be a good investment, because they will help you to attract the right buyers and you could possibly get a higher price for the property when it sells.

At Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we know the secrets to helping you sell your home. If you want to sell the property quickly and easily, then you need to work with our experienced team. Call us today for more information about selling your home: (678) 318-1700

Home Upgrades that You Should Skip

Home Upgrades that You Should Skip

When planning upgrades for your home, it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of home improvement projects. A few small things can quickly turn into a long list of to-do items, resulting in a higher budget and more time to make these improvements.

There are many benefits to home upgrades, but you should consider your goals for the project to be sure the tasks line up. If you are planning these upgrades to improve the value of your home, then there are actually a few things that you should skip. These upgrades will likely end up costing you quite a bit of money without adding a significant amount onto your property value.

Just because you make upgrades on the home, doesn’t mean that you’ll profit! Here are a few things that you should skip:

Pool Installation

It might seem like a luxury to have a pool in the backyard, but some home buyers find that a swimming pool is too much maintenance and hassle. In fact, some potential buyers might look elsewhere if they don’t want a swimming pool that will be potentially dangerous to their young children. You will pay for the cost of the pool installation as well as the ongoing maintenance, and it isn’t likely that the full amount will be recovered in the price of the home when it sells.

Unusual Custom Features

Just because you have a dream of how the kitchen should look, doesn’t mean that it is everyone’s cup of tea. There are many situations where these details don’t matter to home buyers, so they aren’t interested in paying for unneeded upgrades. One example is an ornate countertop edge compared with a basic beveled countertop edge. It costs quite a bit more to install the upgraded countertop, but the upgrade won’t have much of an impact on the value of the home.

Floorplan Changes

Numbers matter, and most buyers are interested in the number of bedrooms and bathrooms within a home. If you plan to change the floorplan in any way, then you need to consider how these changes will impact the stats for the home. Even if you have a dream of a giant walk-in closet, it might not make sense to knock out the wall to the next bedroom, because it might bump your listing down into the lower price-range bracket.

High-End Upgrades in an Average Neighborhood

Adding many high-end upgrades to an average home won’t increase the value as much as you want. You need to consider the quality of the other homes in the neighborhood to determine the base level price range for the area. If you spend $15,000 in home upgrades, it might only bump up the price of the home by $10,000 or $5,000 depending on the neighborhood where you live.

So, talk with an expert real estate agent first to get a feel for the area. At Duffy Realty of Atlanta, we are here to help you sell your home quickly and easily. Call us for more information: (678) 318-1700

Christmas Wish-List: Ask Santa for These Home Upgrades This Year

Home upgrades to Sell a Home in Atlanta

Are you planning to sell your home soon? Or maybe you recently moved into a home, and you want to improve the property to enjoy it a little more? There are many advantages to home upgrades, especially because these projects can help to boost your equity and make the property more attractive to potential buyers.

When you are writing your Christmas list this year, consider these home upgrades that will have a nice impact on the equity of your home:

Kitchen Make-Over

The kitchen is the heart of the home, which is why you need to give this room a little bit of TLC. A few upgrades in the kitchen can go a long way to revitalize the room and make it a little nicer. Consider re-finishing the cabinets, upgrading the faucets, installing new appliances, and choosing a new granite countertop.

Re-Paint the Interior and Exterior

A fresh coat of paint can go a long way to improve the appearance of a home. If you want to give the interior a facelift, then buy a few cans of paint. You can paint on your own, or hire a painter to help. Make sure to stick with neutral colors if you want to make the home more attractive to potential buyers.

It can also be beneficial to paint the exterior of the home, depending on the materials that were used on your house. Over time, exterior paint can chip, crack, and peel, and it is necessary to sand down the wood and put on a fresh coat of paint. Exterior painting will improve the curb appeal of the property, setting the right impression for everyone that visits.

Improve the Flooring

Does your carpet look old and worn? It might be the right time to upgrade your flooring! You can choose new carpet, or consider adding in another type of flooring if you want to change the style of your home. There are many great flooring options available, and you can talk with a flooring expert to learn more.

Clean Up the Yard

Have you kept up with yard maintenance over the years? Weeds, dead branches, and leaves can have a negative impact on the curb appeal of your home, so it is important to clean up the mess and straighten up the yard a little bit. If you are feeling ambitious, take it to the next level and plant some flowers, bushes, and trees to improve the beauty of the yard.

A few small upgrades in your home can go a long way to improve the overall appearance of the property. If you are planning to sell your home in Atlanta or any of the surrounding areas, contact Duffy Realty of Atlanta to learn more about the steps that can be followed to increase the equity of the property: (678) 318-1700