Archive for February 2019

New Smart Features You Need For Your Home



Many prospective home buyers check out a dozen or more homes in a short period of time. Because they see so many similar homes in quick succession, it can be difficult to make a lasting impression on a buyer. Incorporating all of the latest technologies can be a great way to make your home stand out from the pack.

Whether you are looking to get your home ready to sell or you are just hoping to upgrade your current home, consider incorporating some of these smart features in your home.

Smart Feature #1: Wall Mounted Televisions

While flat screen TVs have been around for a while, they are still one of the most popular ways to upgrade a home. Large, older entertainment systems can take up a lot of space and detract from the room’s other features. A wall mounted LCD or plasma screen can give your space a modern look while still allowing for plenty of seating for you and your guests to relax and watch the football game or a movie.

If you are really looking to maximize your entertainment options, consider adding a smaller flat screen to your kitchen, allowing you to keep up with your favorite shows while preparing dinner.

Smart Feature #2: Upgraded Sound System

Pair your flat screen TV with an upgraded sound system. In-wall or in-ceiling speakers are more expensive, but if you have the budget for it, they can be a great, low profile way to play music around the house.

A digital sound system can allow you to listen to your favorite music throughout the home. Some multi-room sound systems give users the option to play the same or different music in various areas of their home. For example, someone in the kitchen could listen to the radio while someone on the patio listens to a CD. Users will also have the option to stream the same music to every room in their home – perfect for parties and large gatherings. Newer multi-room sound systems allow for up to 6 rooms to be connected.

Smart Feature #3: Smart Locks

Many people are upgrading their traditional front door locks to Bluetooth or fingerprint enabled locks. These locks allow your family and trusted friends to access your home without having to go out and get them a copy of the key. You can even give handymen or plumbers temporary access to your home when you need repairs during the workday. With push-to-start options in most cars and keyless entry into your home, the days of digging through your bag to find your keys will be behind you.

Smart Feature #4: Motorized Window Shades

If your home has vaulted ceilings, you likely have high windows or skylights that are difficult to access. Motorized window shades are the perfect solution to this. With just the touch of a button, you can open or close the blinds or window shades in the hard to reach areas of your home.

To learn more tips and tricks to help your home stand out from the crowd, email us at homes(at)huntleyrealty(dotted)com or call 847.669.4010.

Leave It To The Pros: 4 DIY Ideas to Avoid (and Why)

Roof repair

Roof repair

Do it yourself home improvement projects can be a great way to save money while still fixing up your home. Projects like a new coat of paint, new cabinet hardware, or improved landscaping in the yard can easily be accomplished over the course of a weekend. These kinds of easy improvements can make your house look better without any real risk.

However, there are some home improvement projects that you should definitely leave to the pros. Skip these 4 do it yourself projects on your next free weekend.

#1 DIY Idea to Avoid: Tree Removal

We said that landscaping projects were great for do it yourself, but the removal of tall trees should always be left to the pros. Even those that are experienced with a chainsaw should steer clear of tree removal. It can be difficult to predict where long branches and sections of the trunk will fall. Leave this to the pros so that you will not have to explain to your neighbour how your tree ended up on top of their shed.

#2 DIY Idea to Avoid: Electrical Work

An electrical project gone wrong can have disastrous consequences. Unless you have experience working with wiring, you should leave complicated electrical projects to the pros. If you are simply replacing a light switch or your room’s overhead lighting, you can probably do this yourself. Just make sure you flip the breaker for that section of your home before you begin.

More complicated wiring projects, like installing additional overhead light fixtures or increasing the number of outlets in a room, should be left to the pros. A wiring project gone wrong can quickly lead to injuries, electric shocks, or even fires. Not to mention the complex building codes that must be strictly adhered to in most areas.

#3 DIY Idea to Avoid: Removing Walls

People love the idea of an open floor plan, so many trendy homeowners are removing some of their older home’s interior walls. If you are hoping to implement a more open floor plan in your home, it is best to consult with a professional before you begin. Some interior walls can be safely removed while others are load bearing, meaning that they are supporting the floor, ceiling, or roof of your home. It might not be readily apparent which walls are load bearing, but removing the wrong wall can cause issue immediately or slowly over time. Consult with a professional before you start crafting your new floor plan.

#4 DIY Idea to Avoid: Roof Repairs

While it might seem simple to replace a section of your roof, this is another task that should be approached with caution. One wrong step and you could end up slipping over the edge and into the yard. Even if your balance is good, it can be easy to overlook small flaws in the shingles. These seemingly small gaps can allow water to seep in around vents, slowly causing damage to your roof and attic.

To learn more about what you should and should not do to your new home, email us at homes(at)huntleyrealty(dotted)com or call 847.669.4010.

How To Throw An Amazing Housewarming Party On A Budget

Excited women

Excited women

Moving is always expensive, but that is no reason to miss out on a housewarming party with all your friends. Moving, especially if you are moving into your first home or upgrading to a nicer property, is an exciting event and it should be celebrated. Fortunately, it is possible to throw a memorable housewarming party without breaking the bank. People will remember the fun times and good company, not the expensive dinner or decorations. Cut corners where you can in order to save money for the things that matter.

The first place you can save money is with the invitations. E-vites are becoming more and more common and many sites will let you design your own invitations for free. The good news is that sending out free e-vites instead of mailing paper invitations can save you time and money. Use an event planning site to send your invitations or simply set up a Facebook event for your housewarming party.

Plan your guest list carefully. While you will definitely want to invite your immediate family and close friends, consider whether or not all of your co-workers should make the list. A smaller party will be more affordable and there will be time to show your other friends your home at a later date.

You should also think about what decorations are necessary and which ones you can do without. It is easy to spend a couple hundred dollars on decorations that you will only use once. While decorations are a great way to create a festive atmosphere, over the top decorations are probably not the best use of your limited funds. The focal point of your housewarming party should be your home, so it is not necessary to fill each room with decorations. Instead, we recommend choosing a colour scheme and buying a few balloons with matching plates and napkins. This will pull your party together quickly and affordably.

Since you probably have not fully unpacked yet, you will not want to cook a full meal for your guests. If you plan for an afternoon housewarming party, feel free to serve snacks and finger foods that require very little prep or clean up. Set bowls of chips and dip or other snacks around the house so that your guest can graze while they are chatting with each other.

In addition to being the more convenient option, skipping the sit-down dinner is another great way to cut costs. If you would prefer to have a full meal at your party, consider making it a potluck where each guest brings a dish to share. This will keep the burden of feeding your guests from falling directly on your shoulders. You will have enough other things to worry about in the weeks following your big move. Let someone else handle the cooking.

To learn more about choosing the right property and settling into your new home, get in touch with Huntley Realty at homes(at)huntleyrealty(dotted)com or call 847.669.4010, today!