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5 Ways to Make Your House for Sale More Appealing to Buyers



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Home staging is a big part of preparing your house for sale, and a great way to boost its appeal and attract more buyers. A well-staged home is likely to sell faster than the other houses on the market since it gives the buyers an opportunity to see the house’s potential and envision themselves living there. Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can make your house more appealing and sell more quickly, attracting top dollar on auction day. 

Remove the clutter to create a sense of spaciousness

How much space your house offers is one of the primary concerns of potential home buyers, especially those with families. Although you can’t change the square footage of your home, you can maximize your house’s potential and make it seem larger. As clutter can get in the way of buyers’ perception of space, try to minimize the use of ornaments. Don’t go over the top with accessories – instead, choose pieces wisely and sparingly, keeping only those decor elements that help create a balanced and cozy interior. Loud colors and busy patterns can detract the attention away from your home’s potential, so be sure to keep your furniture and decor simple and subtle. Remove any furnishings that are too bulky and be sure to float your furniture to create smooth traffic flow.

Clean your house thoroughly

After you got rid of all the unnecessary things that were cluttering up your living space, it’s time to tackle the cleaning. Although not as exciting as decorating, deep cleaning your house will give it a polished, well-maintained look, creating an impression of a well-cared-for property. Untidy surfaces, entryways cluttered with shoes and cobwebs in the corners of the living room won’t impress any buyer – rather, they will drive them away as soon as they see them, so make sure that both the interior and the exterior of your home are in pristine condition. Clean the grouts, polish the floors, and wash your windows until they all gleam with perfection. Although it does take some elbow grease to get it done, cleaning your home is a great way to make your home more appealing without spending any money. 

Decorate with simplicity in mind

After cleaning, the next thing on the list is accessorizing. When choosing decor elements for your home, be sure to keep things simple – a neutral color palette and a couple of potted plants here and there goes a long way in creating a home that is balanced and cohesive. Be sure to remove all your family photos and swap them for effective artwork, keeping it minimal and tasteful. To avoid that clinical look, introduce cheerful decor that will add a pop of color to your interior. Bring a dose of luxury into your living room with a couple of coastal-themed Hamptons cushions, add fluffy towels to your bathroom for a touch of warmth, and put a vase of fresh flowers on your kitchen table to give your house that homely feel and create a cozy and welcoming aura in your home.  

Swap your dated lighting fixtures for something modern

Another easy way to impress your buyers and make your home look warm and inviting is to upgrade your lighting fixtures. Swapping your old, dated lights for something fresh and new will change the feeling of your home and make it look more chic and up-to-date. A well-lit home contains three layers of lighting: task, ambient, and accent lighting. Be sure to use both artificial and natural light – open your blinds and pull your curtains and let the sunlight fill the space, creating a pleasant atmosphere in your living space. By switching your lighting fixtures, you can easily transform your house and make it look more appealing to potential buyers. The best part is, you don’t even have to spend that much money on this small, yet effective upgrade.

Use effective landscaping to boost your home’s curb appeal

Landscaping is a powerful tool that can be very useful when you’re preparing your home for sale. Since home staging is all about making a great first impression and the fact that the exterior of your house can either make it or break it, a certain amount of attention should be devoted to making the outside of your home more appealing. It goes without saying that your lawn should be mowed, the leaves and debris should be cleaned up, and the shrubs ought to be trimmed to give an impression of a well-maintained outdoor space. Plant seasonal flowers to make your landscape pop, clean up any water features you have, and tend to dirty surfaces by power-washing them. Doing so will help boost your home’s curb appeal and leave a memorable impression on the potential buyers. 

Other than helping sell your home more quickly, decorating your home strategically can also boost its price. Use the tips above to decorate your home in a way that will appeal to most buyers, ensuring both quick and profitable sale.

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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How to Write a Notice to Vacate Letter



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Moving out of a rented apartment is often exciting and joyful. Either you’re finally getting your own place, moving to a better location, or you’ve got a new job at a different location. However, moving away is not all fun and games. One of the things that you have to do is give your landlord a notice to vacate letter.

Your landlord needs to be properly informed about your intention to move out. If you’re not sure what to include in the letter or how to write it, you’ll find all the answers below.

  • What is a Notice to Vacate Letter?

Let’s start by explaining what a notice to vacate letter is and why you need to write one when leaving the rented residence.

A notice to vacate letter is a document written by a tenant and addressed to their landlord. The letter notifies the landlord that you’ll be leaving the rented residence within a certain timeframe. This letter must be:

  • following the lease agreement
  • written clearly and professionally

Usually, you’ll be giving a 30 or 60-day notice to the landlord. However, there are other important elements you need to include in the letter.

  • How to Write a Notice to Vacate Letter?

Now that you understand what a notice to vacate letter is, it’s time to take a look at the elements you need to include in one. Here’s how to write a notice to vacate letter that is legal and serves its purpose without any trouble.  

  1. Check Your Lease

You shouldn’t start writing your notice to vacate letter before reading your previously signed lease agreement. This is to make sure you’re respecting all of the things defined by the lease, and not breaking any of the agreed terms.

Make sure to check:

  • country or state tenant/landlord laws
  • the timing requirements of delivering the letter
  • the formalities defined by the lease
  • termination clause
  • potential penalties if leaving the residence sooner than agreed
  • how to deliver the letter to the landlord

All of this may or may not be defined by your lease. If it is — make sure to respect every aspect of it. If it’s not, still write the letter and deliver it to your landlord.

  1. Open With the Technical Details

Your notice to vacate letter should start with the technical details that are necessary for proving who wrote the letter and to whom. These details include:

  • your name
  • your current address, including apartment number, city, state, and zip code
  • your phone number
  • your new address after moving
  • landlord’s name
  • landlord’s address

Make sure it’s all the same as in the lease agreement and double-check before moving to the next step.

  1. Explain Your Intention of Leaving

Now it’s time to write the section in which you explain your intention of leaving the residence. This section should be:

  • divided into paragraphs
  • two-three paragraphs long
  • clear and concise

You can start by writing “Dear (name of the landlord or the apartment company’s manager)” and then move straight up to say:

  • you’re intending to leave the residence
  • you’re writing the letter to notify them
  • it’s in agreement with your lease

Don’t beat around the bush or try to make this document personal or poetic. 

  1. Provide a Reason

You don’t have to provide a reason for leaving the residence, but it’s considered polite and professional. The second paragraph can include a line or two about the main reason behind making this decision. 

There can be several reasons such as:

  • new job
  • life expenses increase in the area
  • getting your own place

Give your landlord insight into why you made this decision since it may come in handy for them once they take in a new tenant.

  1. Commit to Respect the Agreement

Your landlord needs to be certain that you’ll respect all of the agreed details, so make sure to put it all in writing. Tell them that you’ll:

  • leave the residence no later than a date you’ve agreed on
  • deliver the keys back
  • leave the residence in the agreed condition

Your landlord will be happy to get this written confirmation from you.

  1. Ask For The to Respect Their Obligations

If the landlord owes you any refundable deposit money or has any other obligations on their side, don’t hesitate to cover it in the letter. You don’t want to be the damaged party in this process, so write what you expect them to do as well.

There’s nothing wrong in asking for what’s legally yours.

  1. Check Letter Quality

Although the notice to vacate letter is between you and the landlord, you still need to make sure it’s professionally written. Before you send it out, make sure to:

  • proofread for spelling or grammar
  • check the structure
  • check the vocabulary

You can even have a professional take a look and make any potential changes. TrustMyPaper, Supreme Dissertations offers editing and rewriting services that you may find useful.

  1. Deliver a Hard Copy

Sending an email is the easiest version for delivering the notice to vacate letter to the landlord, but it’s not the safest one. Emails get stuck in spam or don’t even get read by the recipient.

Print out, sign, and send a hard copy of your letter to make sure the landlord receives it and gets notified in time.

Final Thoughts

Writing a notice to vacate letter is far from complicated, and anyone can do it on their own. The only important thing is that you respect everything agreed with your lease and don’t break any legal regulations.

Hopefully, the guide written above will ensure your notice to vacate letter is straightforward and professionally written.

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Home Improvement

7 Decor Tips To Make Your Rental Apartment Feel More Like Home



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In today’s economy, renting an apartment or a home is a must, at least for one period in life. It’s what the majority of people do, so it’s important to be careful when looking for a perfect apartment to rent. There are many sketchy landlords and leasing companies, so being cautious and detailed is a must. 

Once you find an apartment that works for you, it’s time to redecorate it, so it will feel and look like a real home. So for that specific reason, here are some amazing and practical tips that will show you how to do that. 

1. First, make it clean and tidy 

Not all landlords tend to focus on cleanliness when renting out their property. So before you start buying furniture and decor pieces, it’s crucial to thoroughly clean your new space. Make sure to scrub the floors and surfaces, especially in the kitchen and bathroom, since these spaces tend to get dirtier than others. After you clean and tidy up everything, you may start focusing on other, more cosmetic aspects of sprucing up. Also, don’t forget to open all the windows and doors, to clear out the stale air. 

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2. Discuss any potential changes with your landlord

If you’re planning to repaint the walls or drill into them in order to hang new wall art, it’s crucial to discuss that with your landlord. Some leases have stipulations that prevent tenants from doing such work, so it’s better to be safe than sorry later. Also, be sure to promise that you’ll revert anything to the original state before you move out. But, art without holes is also a great way to decorate the space without changing anything. 

3. Focus on the lighting 

Choosing an apartment with enough access to natural light is pretty important, so make that your focus, aside from the price and the location, of course. If the lighting isn’t up to the task, even the most beautiful room will look inadequate. So, opting for light, non-sturdy furniture pieces, hanging some mirrors, and opting for breezier curtains are all sure tips that will make your space look lighter during the day. As for the evening, it’s important to choose proper lighting fixtures that will make the space well-lit and lively. 

Photo by Nathan Oakley on Unsplash

4. Decorate with the storage options

Well-chosen and properly utilized storage options can add a whole new dimension to your rented apartment. And since it’s likely you’ll have to get creative with it, then why don’t you use storage as decor? Get elegant and sturdy storage boxes and place them around, so they’ll look seamlessly incorporated into the room. Also, multi-purpose furniture is a great way to store blankets, pillows, beddings, and everything else that you don’t use on a regular basis. 

5. Beautify the kitchen as well 

Sometimes, kitchens in rented apartments can be below the par, but that’s not your fault. However, if that happens to you, then it’s important to beautify the kitchen, and make it as pretty as possible, given the circumstances. If replacing the cabinets and countertops isn’t on the table, the least you can do is to spruce up the kitchen with modern and cheap furniture as they can transform the space and make it look better. Also, adding certain cozy textures such as chair pads and cushions as well as a homey tablecloth piece will add a sense of charm and elegance to your kitchen.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

6. Plants are your best friends and companions

If you’re unsure how to decorate your rented space, then feel free to add various indoor plants. That is the best and most convenient way to feel at home. Besides, indoor plants are beneficial to your well-being, so adding a few pots here and there will surely improve the way your new place looks and feels. If you’re worried about killing the plants, then feel free to opt for those that are low-maintenance and easy to care for, such as snake plants and various types of succulents. 

7. Cover up old and ugly furniture 

If for some reason, your new place has some old and ugly furniture pieces that you cannot get rid of, then it’s best to cover them up with interesting and fun textiles. This is the easiest and fastest way to make the space yours. Rugs are also an excellent and practical idea, especially when matched with hardwood floors, as that creates an atmosphere of timeless elegance. You can mix and match different rug sizes and shapes, or if you feel more adventurous, feel free to layer them, to create one stunning piece of decor. 

Final thoughts

Renting an apartment means you have a certain amount of freedom to redecorate it and make it feel like home. But, before you decide to do any altering work, be sure to discuss it with your landlord first. All the tips mentioned above will surely create a pleasant, cozy, and stunning atmosphere in your new, rented apartment.

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6 Awesome Ways to Turn Pet Photos Into Paintings



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Changing pictures into paintings is a trend that many people have adopted over the past few years. This conversion not only emphasizes the photos’ beauty but also makes them look more divine. Transforming photos to paintings is a technique that can be applied to family photos, pet photos, school pictures, and much more.

In the past, if you wanted to turn a picture into a painting, your only option would be to hire a painter, but with today’s endless software and online websites such as Instapainting, this task has become more viable. In fact, most of their customer reviews are from individuals who insist they got cool stuff from Instapainting and would recommend them to people seeking to convert their pet photos to paintings.

However, there are also other options for turning your pet photos into paintings. With a few supplies, you can even do it yourself. That said, continue reading this article to learn how you can transform your pet photos into paintings.

What Supplies Would You Need


If you decide to take on this task yourself, you would need to have a clear, well-lit photo of your pet and a few art supplies that can be found at an arts and crafts store or a distinct department store. They include:

●     A printer

●     An artboard, art paper, or any other surface you can paint on

●     A 6B (soft) art pencil

●     A paintbrush

●     Acrylic craft paint

●     A paint palette or a sheet of wax paper

How to Turn Pet Photos Into Paintings


1.   Prepare the Background

Choose a color and paint it on the entire background of your art paper and give it time to dry. Since your final painting will consist of a single color, shadows and highlights, go for a color that contrasts with black and would look lovely hanging from your wall.

2.   Edit Your Pet’s Photo

This is the most delicate step of this project. Ensure that you use a photo of your pet with high contrast, strong shadows, and an easily recognizable image. Then use a photo editing software program like Microsoft Office Picture Manager to:

●     Crop the photo so that your pet’s appearance covers the entire frame

●     Convert the picture’s color to black and white

●     Enhance the picture’s contrast

●     Adjust the brightness, mid-tones, and highlights

●     Create a mirror image of the original by flipping the photo horizontally

3.   Print Out the Photo

You may need to print the photo on multiple sheets of paper depending on the size of your painting. Once you have printed out the image, carefully analyze it to make sure you didn’t lose many details while you were editing. If you are satisfied with the outcome, move on to darkening the outline with your art pencil.

4.   Outline and Transfer Your Photo

When outlining the dominant shadows on your pet’s photo, make sure you include the aspects of your pet by making features such as eyes, ears, and wrinkled foreheads more detailed. Once you are done, place the picture, face down, on your art paper to transfer your outline onto it.

Hold your printed image firmly against your art paper and begin rubbing the graphite from your outline onto your canvas using the blunt end of a paintbrush. This technique leaves a perfect sketch of your outline on your art paper for you to paint over.

5.   Paint Your Pet

Start by redrawing the pencil lines of your painting with a pen or marker to emphasize the parameters. Then, color in the lines to bring life to your pet’s image.

6.   Touch Up

As you do your final touches, you can add some optional flourish to enhance your pet’s features further or decorate the simple background. Give your painting time to completely dry before signing it.

Make the Most of Your Pet Photos With Other Options


By following the procedure outlined above, you can make the conversion all by yourself. However, if you find it hard to carry out this project, you can resort to online options such as apps and websites that make turning photos into paintings their core business. Explore all your options to determine which one represents the best approach for you.

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Home Improvement

How to Bring Sustainability into Building Design and Construction



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The construction industry is not really synonymous with sustainability, but that can change. With new technologies and new knowledge, it’s possible to improve the eco-friendliness of the building design and construction. Here are just some of the most effective ways new buildings can be made sustainable yet comfortable and practical for human use.

Hire commission experts

If you want to have peace of mind, hire a commissioning authority who will ensure the building is designed, built and ready to perform according to the operational requirements. And paying for envelope commissioning is key since no matter how good the mechanical part of the operation is, if the envelope is not up to standards, the system won’t function optimally.

Use low-impact materials

Making construction materials uses a lot of water and energy, but there are low-impact materials that come from recycling and repurposing. Replacing conventional materials with recycled, reused or reclaimed ones will reduce the footprint of the building and minimize toxicity.

Boost insulation

The better the insulation of a building (wall, roof and floor insulation) the better it will be in energy use and heat retention. Plus, insulation also boosts acoustic properties which is important both for commercial and residential buildings. And insulation needs to be done well the first time since fixing it later will cost money, time and resources and cause serious disruptions. It’s impossible to hear that someone over-insulated their home or office.

Use the building’s thermal mass

Stone, brick and concrete are materials that add to the thermal mass in a building that allows it to absorb warmth from the sun during the day and release it during the night, maintaining a comfortable internal temperature. Use thermal mass to your advantage so you can allow the building to regulate temperature without relying on electricity and gas. This can reduce resource consumption and make your property more eco-friendly and cost-effective.

Consider waste management

Reducing construction and live-in waste is becoming easier than ever with the sophisticated tools we have available. For instance, just one garbage compactor can make building waste more manageable and eco-friendly thanks to smart disposal. These units come in different sizes suitable for everything from homes to commercial buildings and they make your operations greener, your premise more hygienic and your waste management easier and cheaper.

During the construction phase, it’s important to identify materials that can be recycled, reused and repurposed to reduce waste. Lastly, it’s possible to reduce waste by performing good calculations that will ensure all ordered materials get used.

Employ natural light

Maximizing natural light in your building by using windows, roof lights, sun pipes and domes, etc, can maximize your energy efficiency and minimize your need to rely on electricity. Since windows and doors have an important role in creating the building’s shell, make sure to invest in performance timber doors and triple-glazed windows to boost your thermal performance. Modern performance furniture has great efficiency and their solar gain can be used to head the building and reduce your heating bill. Make sure to hire experts in fitting windows and doors to ensure lasting building performance and comfort. Buying cheap and cutting corners when hiring contractors will cost you and the environment in the long run.

Choose renewable energy sources

One of the easiest and most effective ways to achieve sustainable building is to use alternative energy sources and incorporate solar, wind and hydro energy into the design. These additions can reduce your electricity and fuel requirements and boost your energy savings. Another renewable source you can incorporate into your design is proper ventilation structures that will reduce your need for AC and fans. People in hot climates like Australia’s will love access to great natural ventilation all year round.

Practice inter-company sustainability

If you own a building company or want to become an investor, make sure to actively pursue sustainable practices and seek LEED certification. You can also make connections with like-minded professionals, encourage your community to recycle and train your employees to practice sustainable practices at work and home. Partnering with other companies that practice sustainability can do wonders for your PR and give you new ideas on how to improve your own sustainability and become even greener.

To sum up, the main benefits of sustainable building and design in the construction industry are reduced carbon emission, reduced noise pollution, better cost savings, faster construction and minimal waste. While all companies and investors want to reap these benefits, the change to sustainability can’t happen overnight. We still require research, innovation and creativity, as well as great support from stakeholders. Slowly, we will all embrace sustainability in construction, otherwise, there won’t be any more construction.

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Home Improvement

Simple Guide for Transforming Your Home Into a Peaceful Oasis



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A house should be pretty, well-built, and sustainable. But above all else, a house should be home. So if you’re looking to transform your house into a home that will be your peaceful oasis, it’s important to know what steps to take to ensure that. We all have different preferences and priorities, which is why it’s important to plan things beforehand. Therefore, here is a simple guide with amazing tips that will help you transform your home into your little refuge of peace and quiet.

Having access and exposure to natural light can have a tremendous impact on your space. Simply, every room looks better when it’s airy, light, and sun-kissed. In order to achieve that, you should make sure your windows are big enough and placed in a way that ensures enough light. Also, if you love curtains, then be sure to pick ones that are breezy, yet provide you with enough privacy from prying eyes.

Opt for colors that you love

In case you’re looking to infuse your home with peaceful vibes, then nude and neutral colors are the way to go. However, if you’re not a fan of such tones, feel free to mix things up a bit: two-tone walls are a thing, and they can add a bit of vibrancy and colorfulness to your space, without being overwhelming. Feel free to experiment with different colors, tones, and shades, as long as the central theme remains structured and coherent.

Declutter, declutter, declutter

Sometimes we cling to items due to emotional connection, or we simply find comfort in hoarding things to use later. But, cluttering your home can also make it look stuffy, messy, and disorganized, which is the polar opposite of peaceful and serene. Therefore, if you’re not in the position to do any major work, at least try to declutter, so you’ll have more space for things you actually need. If you’re not ready to part with certain items, then at least store them in the basement, attic, or garage.

Create a relaxing atmosphere

You can design your home to look amazing, but you should never neglect the atmosphere. Making your home peaceful and relaxing should be your number one goal, especially if you’re someone who often enjoys some peace, solitude, and quiet. That’s why adding various scented candles, playing soothing music, or simply using a homemade air freshener can definitely create such a relaxing atmosphere and make your home more peaceful. So, feel free to decide for yourself what’s peaceful, and then decorate according to that.

Invest in your backyard

If you have a backyard, then you should invest some effort to make it beautiful and serene by building a patio, planting some trees and bushes, and maybe even installing a fire pit. After all, there’s nothing better than spending some peaceful moments outdoors, enjoying your favorite book, or just taking a nap. However, it’s also necessary to take care of your own privacy and safety, which is why you should look for a good fencing installation and get protection for your backyard. Seriously, no one should be able to peek in your backyard because that’s your private property, and it needs to be treated as such.

Incorporate warm elements and details

Adding certain decor items and details can add a lot of warmth and peace to your home. Things like fuzzy carpets and soothing paintings might be a lovely addition to your living room or bedroom, mainly any room that you use for relaxation and rest. Besides, various throw pillows, blankets, and sofa/bed covers can be used to soften the space and make it seem more inviting and peaceful.

Add some indoor plants

Keeping plants indoors isn’t only beneficial to your physical health, but it can also boost your inner peace and mental wellbeing. Therefore, feel free to add as many plants as you like, but be sure to get informed, so you’ll be able to take care of them properly. In case you lack experience in caring for plants, then feel free to use those that are easy to maintain and practically impossible to kill. These starter plants will be more than enough to add some green vibes and add positive vibes to any space inside your home.

In conclusion

These tips will surely transform your home and make it your personal peaceful oasis. Start slow, by doing the thing that’s easiest for you, because even a little change can have a significant effect. Your home deserves to look amazing, and you deserve to feel peaceful, happy, and relaxed there.

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