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By: News USA

Next month is the start of the peak home buying season – the four months that generally account for more than 40 percent of annual housing transactions. The reasons are: The weather is (cross your fingers) nicer, the holidays are a but a distant memory and families with kids prefer to relocate before the start of a new school year.

So if you’re looking to sell – or just want to make some changes to test the market – now’s the time to learn which upgrades increase your house’s value in potential buyers’ eyes and which leave them stone cold.

And while you’re at it, never forget the first rule of upgrades, according to Remodeling magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report for 2019: “Think like a real-estate broker.” Read on to see why that includes focusing heavily on “curb appeal” and “first impressions.”

• Worth it: a new garage door. It ranked first on the magazine’s list of projects, with a 97.5 percent return on investment (ROI) thanks in large part to its relatively low cost.

• Not worth it: upscale bathroom remodeling. Want an easy way to save $60K or so? Don’t spend it on installing the whirlpool tub, heated towel bars, and stone countertops of your dreams.

Why? Because as Remodeling magazine notes, “Because of the vast differences in aesthetic tastes, one person’s elegant new bath will be viewed by a range of other prospective buyers as “tacky and outdated and in desperate need of a reset.”

• Worth it: a bigger rug. Going bigger is actually a trick some real estate moguls have been known to use. Since the living room is likely the first interior part of the house buyers will see – and, remember, first impressions matter – bet on them extrapolating from it to guesstimate the entire size of the house.

Ergo, since the goal is to make the room seem more spacious …

At least some buyers will judge the size of a room based on the size of the rug.

• Not worth it: a midrange backyard patio. It’s in the backyard, right? – emphasis on “back.” Which explains why it only garnered a 55.2 percent ROI.

• Worth it: a new roof. “Buyers pay a premium for one already in place,” Credit.com has observed.7  Ways To Keep your Hardware Floor Looking its Best

Rob Buenaventura
Many people choose hardwood flooring because it is easy to maintain and keep looking great. True, you will not have to worry about hardwood staining if you spill grape juice on it, as you do with carpet. However, there are a few things that you need to remember when you are dealing with hardwood. Once you have spent a great deal of time and money on your beautiful hardwood floor, you will want to keep it looking fantastic. Many people choose hardwood flooring because it is easy to maintain and keep looking great. True, you will not have to worry about hardwood staining if you spill grape juice on it, as you do with carpet. However, there are a few things that you need to remember when you are dealing with hardwood. 

1) The most important cleaning tip for hardwood is preventative maintenance. By cleaning your floors regularly and sweeping or vacuuming dirt and debris, you will save yourself a lot of time and expense in the long run. 

2) Wipe up any spills as soon as they occur. Although you will not have an instant stain when you spill on hardwood floor as you do with carpet, you may expose your hardwood to staining if you do not wipe up spills in a timely fashion. Once stains have a chance to set into the hardwood you may have to refinish the floor in order to get the stain out. 

3) Sweep your floor everyday or as needed. It is important to sweep up any dirt or debris off of your floor as necessary so that the dirt doesn’t scratch the wood. This will vary from house to house of course. If you have a high traffic home, you may need to sweep a few times a day. Although, you may only need to sweep every few days. 

4) Use a hardwood cleaner once a week to keep your floor looking its best. Hardwood floor cleaners are available at any home improvement center or at a flooring center. They are quite easy to use, and with a little preventative maintenance, you will thank yourself in the future. Simply spray the cleaner on and use a cloth or hardwood broom to buff the floor gently. 

5) Never use water and soap when cleaning your hardwood. Hardwood is not like linoleum or even laminate flooring and you cannot use a bucket of sudsy, soapy water to clean it. In fact, you can damage your floor if you try to mop it in a traditional style. Because wood is susceptible to water damage, you want to minimize the contact that your floor has with water. Water will seep into the cracks of the boards and can cause swelling, discoloration and deformation of the boards. 

6) Protect your floor from furniture scratches and gouges. It is a very good idea to place felt on the bottom of all of your furniture in order to protect it from scratches. This is particularly important for furniture pieces that move a great deal such as your kitchen chairs. But it is a good idea to protect all pieces equally. You can purchase felt at the local hardware store, and cut it to size to fit the bottom of every piece of furniture that you have. 

7) Polish your floor regularly. If you have a hardwood floor with a wax finish, you may want to wax it on a regular basis to keep it looking shiny and new. The waxing process will also will also help buff any scratches out of your floor as well. Every wax product is different so it is important to read the directions carefully and also consult the manufactures guidelines of your flooring before applying any wax product. 

With a little bit of preventative maintenance and some common sense, you will be able to keep your hardwood floor looking fabulous for many years. There are only a few simple steps and rules to follow when dealing with hardwood flooring because it is actually one of the easiest flooring types to care for. 

Rob Buenaventura invites you to http://www.hardwoodscene.com. Here we provide tips on hardwood refinishing and installation of wood flooring. Find benefits on what to look for when considering a hardwood flooring vacuum, check http://www.hardwoodscene.com/How-To-Choose-A-Hardwood-Floor-Vacuum.asp.

In fact, you might call the roof the ultimate curb enhancer: If buyers like what they see, you’re halfway home; if they don’t, they may look for even more things to hate and certainly won’t be quick to open their wallets.

Or, as Remodeling magazine says about curb appeal: “The impact these impressions make is critical in setting the stage for what a buyer is willing to pay for a home.”

If your roof needs replacing, check out the best-selling Timberline roofing shingle line from GAF (gaf.com), North America’s largest roofing manufacturer. The shingles have the look of luxury at a very affordable price.

And remember this caveat: Don’t be afraid to use a new roof as the “negotiating tool” with buyers that Credit.com says it is.

• Not worth it: a major upscale kitchen remodel. Another of those “differences in aesthetic tastes” issues. Better off to stick to repainting the walls or resurfacing cabinets, if need be.

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