Staging Your Home to Sell During the Holidays

Staging Your Home to Sell During the Holidays

The idea of staging and showing your home over the holidays perhaps has you less than enthused. One more thing to deal with during an already incredibly busy season, right? Besides, who’s looking at houses this time of year anyway? You might be surprised to learn that this can, in fact, be a great time of year to show your home. Anyone who is voluntarily subjecting themselves to a home purchase over these next couple of months is inclined to be someone serious about buying. Like a military family with a particularly difficult PCS window.

Potential buyers with a deadline, fewer homes on the market, and a magical time of year? These can all work to your advantage when you’ve got a home to sell during the holidays.

Make sure the basics are covered first. You’re likely already familiar with this “to-do” list for showing your house. Fix the broken things. Clean the dirty things. Get rid of the unnecessary things. And that’s all sound advice year-round. But once those tasks are taken care of, here are some tips unique to staging a home during the holidays.

Consider what puts you in a festive mood. Is it the smell of hot cider or cocoa? The sounds of holiday tunes playing in the background? Stockings on the mantle? Mistletoe over a doorway? That feeling you get when you sense those things is the feeling you want your home to give.

Don’t be a Scrooge. Perhaps you’re not feeling particularly festive. Or you’ve got complicated feelings about what may be your last holiday in your current home. If you’re unmotivated to decorate, don’t pass on the holiday cheer just yet. You can project a warm and inviting feel with even a few small touches around your home—a couple strings of lights, an apple spice candle, a simple wreath on your front door can all make it feel like a special time of year without requiring any major decorating effort on your part. For a potential military-connected buyer, who has no doubt spent his or her share of holidays celebrating with stockings in a motel room while living out of boxes mid-move, those small touches will have a big impact.

But don’t go overboard either. Those people who start decorating in October to get all ten thousand figurines in their yard in time for the holidays? Their houses are great to visit, but they aren’t the house a buyer wants to see when pulling into your driveway. If in doubt, think elegant, timeless, and classy rather than penguin family on a sled. Save that for the front yard of your next home.

Be mindful of diversity. Yes, it’s the holiday season. But it’s not a one holiday season. You want as many prospective buyers looking at your house as possible. And Christmas may not be the reason for the season for all of them. Choose more neutral trimmings over those with religious connotations. Clear lights, evergreens, etc. are flattering to all homes and unlikely to be off-putting to a potential buyer. Remember that staging your home for the holidays is more about what will be appealing to a buyer and less about what is meaningful and significant to you and your family.

Remember your goal. Your end goal is to sell your house. The trimmings and good tidings are a fun and beautiful part of the season that can also put your house in the best light. But at the end of the day, a potential buyer still wants all the things that buyers want—open spaces, nice lines, counter space, etc. Make sure that whatever additions you make in the name of decorating don’t conflict with that.

Involve your real estate agent. She has shown her share of houses. He knows what will make your home more appealing to a prospective buyer (and what to hide). She has a vast network of local vendors and businesses and likely her own supply of furniture, accessories, and decorations that can brighten up your space. Ask your agent to walk through your home and provide feedback about staging it to show its full potential. You won’t regret it.

Potential buyers want to imagine themselves and their families living in a house and creating their own special memories there. With the right touches, they’ll be picturing their first holiday season in their new home when they walk through your door.

Just Listed: 2243 Tedesca Dr, Henderson, NV 89052

2243 Tedesca Dr, Henderson, NV

$ Click for current price
5 BEDROOMS | 4 Baths(3 full, 1 ¾ bath ) BATHROOMS | 2970 SqFt

Beautiful Coventry Home with Casita in the Heart of Anthem! 5 Bedrooms, Den, Family Rm w/Fireplace, Large Master w/Balcony & Partial City Views! Freshly Painted w/New Carpet, Casita w/Full Bath, Kitchen w/Granite Counters & Island, Ceramic Floors Downstairs, Solar Screens, Ceiling Fans, Vaulted Living & Dining Room Ceilings, Lots of Garage Storage Space. Beautiful Backyard, Plenty of Room to Grow!

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Robert Keller

REALTOR®, U.S. Navy (Retired), Military Relocation Professional
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties
702-815-9478
Licensed In: Nevada
License #: S.0176028

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Just Listed: 1076 Plantation Rose Ct, Henderson, NV 89002

1076 Plantation Rose Ct, Henderson, NV

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 2 Baths(2 full ) BATHROOMS | 1926 SqFt

Hard to find 1 story , 4 bedroom, 2 bath, 3 car garage, porch home in a cul-de-sac. The house was just painted inside and out in the last 5 years. The water heater, garage door opener and kitchen appliances all only 1 year old. Aluminum covered patio, and wood shed in the nicely landscaped back yard. House has 10′ ceilings, Pot shelves, Fans in most rooms, Surround sound speakers, garage has custom cabinets and work bench.

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Robert Keller

REALTOR®, U.S. Navy (Retired), Military Relocation Professional
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties
702-815-9478
Licensed In: Nevada
License #: S.0176028

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Just Listed: 2178 Montana Pine Dr, Henderson, NV 89052

2178 Montana Pine Dr, Henderson, NV

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 3 Baths(3 full ) BATHROOMS | 2550 SqFt

Stunning Home in gated community in a great location. Elegance abounds in all the designer finishes and extends to a backyard oasis pool area with water feature fountains. Large second bedroom with possible ensuite bath. Beautiful back yard with a Relaxing pergola sitting area in the grassy portion. Wonderful landscaping front and back with specimen palm trees and great curb appeal. Stainless appliances in kitchen stay.

Presented By:

Showing Agent:

Robert Keller

REALTOR®, U.S. Navy (Retired), Military Relocation Professional
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Nevada Properties
702-815-9478
Licensed In: Nevada
License #: S.0176028

  • Link on Facebook
  • Link on Twiiter
  • Connect on YouTube
  • Connect on Google+
  • Connect on LinkedIn

Magazines to Read for Design Inspiration

Most military-connected folks will tell you that one of the downsides to this life is the seemingly constant moving from one place to the next. But this transient lifestyle presents you with a unique opportunity as well. With each move, you get to leave your own distinctive decorating mark on your new home. You can experiment with different colors and mediums without being committed to them over the long haul. All you need to do is roll up your sleeves and let yourself be inspired.

Whether you like to read digital magazines online or prefer the feel of a real “book” in your hands, magazines are a great source of design inspiration.

You can start with lifestyle magazines like Real SimpleBetter Homes & Gardens, and Good Housekeeping. These types of publications usually cover leisure, fashion, health, decorating, and culture, or some combination of any of these. They’re the same magazines you’re likely to find in the checkout aisle of the grocery store. The ones that promise they’ll show you how to organize your kitchen, pull off the perfect outdoor barbeque, or keep up with the latest fitness craze. They’re not marketed as design magazines, but they’ve got their finger on the pulse of what’s new and trending.

Interested in a lifestyle magazine focused specifically on military spouses and families? Check out Military Spouse Magazine. You’ll find page after page of beautiful photos and inspiring stories about people living this life and how they make it work. (And how they’re handling the frequent moves, just like you.)

If your taste is eclectic, or if you’re not sure what your taste is just yet, there are a whole host of magazines geared toward interior design and decorating. HGTV promises real-life solutions for all the things that homeowners deal with every day. Interior Designshowcases the latest design trends and ideas. Elle Decor markets itself as home design for the fashion-conscious soul. House Beautiful offers inspiration for home design and lifestyle. Architectural Digest features both classic and contemporary design styles.

Magazines like Town & CountryVerandaand Luxe cater to an upscale, luxury crowd. While admittedly, “upscale” and “luxury” aren’t typically words you find in the same sentence as “military family,” don’t let that deter you from sourcing them for ideas. You can create a budget-friendly version of practically any high-ticket item design if you’re resourceful and creative enough.

Then there’s a whole niche market of design magazines. Like a country aesthetic? There’s Country LivingSouthern Living, and Country Sampler to name just a few. Dream of a home inspired by life on the water? That’s Coastal Living’s focus. Fond of Victorian stylings? Then grab Romantic Homes and Victorian Homes. Prefer a beautiful ranch feel? Try Atomic Ranch. Modest 20th century homes? Pick up a copy of American Bungalow. Modern flair? You’ll find that in Dwell.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of what’s out there in terms of magazines focused on interior design. There is something that fits everyone’s sense of style. The wonderful thing is that you don’t have to be committed to any one look or feel; you can choose across styles. Let magazines like these be inspiration, but not gospel. For example, you may have modern taste but find the perfect piece of furniture in a country design magazine that you can make work with your other more contemporary pieces.

And think outside the box, too. A magazine doesn’t have to be labeled as a design or lifestyle magazine for it to be a great source of design inspiration. Peruse the magazines you see in waiting rooms or at your local library. That copy of Outdoor Life or Field & Stream might just remind you that there are other applications for camouflage besides military uniforms and tanks. Or check out the latest issues of top fashion magazines—like VogueHarper’s Bazaar, or InStyle—for tips on trending colors, patterns, and fabrics.

Pay attention to whatever catches your eye or draws your interest. Inspiration can come from anywhere!

The Whys of Owning a Home

Military families can be very quick to dismiss home ownership as a viable option until they’re ready for their forever home. But with the help of a real estate agent, you can find a “right-now” home that serves your family well.

You can potentially pay less to own than to rent. Don’t assume that it will be less expensive to rent than to own. You won’t know if that is true or not until you run the numbers. You should speak with a trusted financial advisor who can help you factor in variables such as income, anticipated length of time you are likely to stay in the area, size of your family, tax consequences, and more.

You may be surprised to find that a mortgage payment can cost less per month than rent. This is particularly true if you have a larger family and/or any specific accommodations that are necessary in terms of accessibility. It can be more challenging to find rental properties with more bedrooms and bathrooms. Should you find such a property available, you’ll obviously pay more for the space. And if you’re in the middle of PCS season and competing with other large military families seeking out rentals, the supply and demand situation can be even more tricky.

When you consider that a VA loan does not require a down payment or mortgage insurance, then you’ll also realize that you won’t find yourself in a position where you must come up with two months’ worth of payments (first and last month’s rent) at once. And don’t forget to factor in tax breaks. You can deduct property taxes and mortgage interest from your federal income tax. Make sure to speak with your financial advisor for guidance on how these breaks would impact you.

Appreciation—the increase in a home’s value over time—can work to your advantage. Anyone who tells you that your home will increase in value from the purchase price is either a liar or a psychic. But your real estate agent is knowledgeable about market trends over time and can give you some great insight into what you can expect in terms of potential return on investment from your home purchase. In the right market, and with the right guidance, it is not unreasonable to expect you might end up ahead (or at least even) on your purchase.

That scenario, however, will not ever be the case with a property you rent from someone else. When you rent, all you’ll have to show for your investment is that you had a roof you had over your head for the duration of your rental agreement. When you buy a home, however, you’ve begun to build equity, even if there’s no appreciation and even if you end up selling your home long before you have paid off your mortgage.

You can do what you want to a home you buy. You don’t need anyone’s permission to change wall colors or to tackle repairs and/or renovations. (You’ll of course need to check with your local township regarding permits for renovations first.) You are free to change your home to suit your needs and preferences.

As a homeowner, you can also modify your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers or renters if/when the military has other plans for where you call home. And those home upgrades mean you can ask for higher rent or a higher asking price when you’re ready to rent or sell. Remember to speak with your real estate agent about any renovations you have in mind with the intent to make your home more marketable. Your agent will be able to provide you with relevant feedback regarding your local market, current trends, and buyers’ preferences.

You can bring your beloved family pets with you. The reality is that, for many military families, moving into a rental property can mean having to make other lodging arrangements for family pets. It can be difficult to find rental properties that accept pets. Those landlords who do often enforce stipulations about the size and type of pets you can have. Not popular even among landlords who are open-minded about pets? Big breed dogs or dogs who’ve gotten a bad rep, like pit bulls for instance. And there’s likely to be added expenses you’d need to factor in if you were incredibly lucky and allowed to move your pet in. Many rental properties require animal securities and/or monthly fees for the privilege of having your pet with you. If you own your home, though, then you get to decide who lives there—humans and animals alike.

You’ll have more flexibility if there’s a sudden change in orders in the middle of a tour or deployment. Yes, you’ll still be responsible for making your regular mortgage payments until you can find tenants or sell the property. But nobody will make you move all your belongings out immediately or charge you for the three months of a year’s lease that you can’t get out of. While there are protections in place that should make it possible for you to break such a lease if you are an active duty family whose orders change, you may find yourself in a heated and prolonged argument—or court battle—before it all gets straightened out (particularly if you live off post). As a homeowner, you’ll be able to list your property for rent or for sale when you want or need to.

The best decision about whether to rent or to own is the one that factors in what works for your family. With your real estate agent on your team, you can trust that your next home, whether you rent or buy it, will be the right home for you.

Mandatory Repairs to Make Before Listing Your Home

You’re about to list your home and perhaps feel overwhelmed by the number of things you think you need to deal with before that can happen. The broken things. The worn and torn things. The guidance from your friends with too many opinions and the internet. The easiest way to help that overwhelmed feeling subside is to have a plan of action. That’s what we’ll help you create here.

Keep this in mind: Your list of “must-do” items should not be about doing to your home what would be of interest to you; rather, focus on what a buyer would want. Buyers want to see a home that is well-maintained and in good working order. And most actionable items that meet this need fall into one of two categories for the purposes of this conversation: things that will prevent a sale and things that will make your home more appealing.

Things That Will Prevent a Sale

Unless you’re marketing a fixer-upper, most buyers want to buy a house that’s move-in ready. And after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home, they’re not too inclined to take on big-ticket repairs or replacements.

Structural and Mechanical. Some of the highest ticket items in a home are the structural and mechanical systems, including the roof, air conditioning and heating, water heater, pipes, and electrical panel. If you’re aware of a problem with any of these things, this is your priority. Not only do buyers want all of the structural and mechanical aspects of the home to be working and in good shape, but any of these things in disrepair can also impact a buyer’s financing and thus the viability of their purchase, which is especially true for FHA and VA loans.

Roof. If your roof needs to be repaired or replaced, attend to this first. Visible damage to the roof can stop a sale before it even begins, as it’s the first thing a prospective buyer may notice. A home in need of a new roof can be a difficult home to sell. Repairing or replacing the roof is a maintenance issue, and while you can’t count on it to increase the value of your home, it will increase the marketability of your home. Buyers want to know the literal and figurative roof over their heads is safe and sound.

Siding, Shingles, and More. While you’re already outside checking out that roof, look for any missing or damaged siding and shingles, or anything on the external part of the house that buyers will notice. Repairing these things now means you don’t have to make allowances to the buyer later.

Plumbing and Electrical. Now is also the time to fix any plumbing and electrical issues. Outdated electrical panel? Running toilets? Leaky or clogged faucets? Showers that only run cold? Many of these repairs are relatively inexpensive but important. (While not as important, replacing those toilet seats while you’re working on the bathrooms will make the toilets look better, too!)

5 Social Media Hacks for Crushing Your Next PCS Move

Available technology  makes it easier than ever for military families to learn about their duty station. But searching on Google alone won’t cut it. That’s where social media swoops in to save the day and can make you an expert on your new neighborhood before you even get there!

Hack 1—Pinterest
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how awesome Pinterest is for gathering and storing information  in one place, but it is also a great tool for moving that shouldn’t be overlooked. As soon as you get orders to your next duty station, create a board on Pinterest titled with the name of your new duty station. Then start gathering pins related to the base and the area.

The best part about this? Many other military spouses have already traveled down the road you’re on. So it’s likely they’ve created or shared pins related to your duty station already. What’s better than collecting information curated by someone who’s been in your shoes?

Hack 2—Hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to geotag photos without actually using your GPS or “checking in” anywhere. Any time someone posts a picture to Instagram and adds a hashtag with a location  that will be searchable by you (depending on their privacy settings).

So to start getting a visual idea of what your base and the surrounding areas look like, you can go on Instagram and start searching hashtags. Start by searching “#YourDutyStationName” (as in #FortHood). This will show you what real people are doing in the area and what they think about it.

A word of warning though: Take the comments and captions with a grain of salt. Everyone has a unique outlook on life so their comments might not be very objective.

Hack 3—Facebook Pages
I’m guessing that any time you receive orders, you immediately hop on Facebook and join the local spouse page at your new base. While there’s nothing wrong with that, there’s so much more to Facebook pages than just the spouses’ groups!

  1. Search for your duty station’s official base page! That’s going to give you accurate information about the base, the facilities, and events occurring on base. This is the best resource for official points of contact. And chances are they’ll have photos of the base amenities, too!
  2. Search for the local MWR, A&FRC or FRG page and follow them. The folks who work in those organizations are typically super helpful and regularly push out important information. Connecting with them on Facebook will allow you to get a jump start on your burning questions before you even PCS!

Hack 4—Snapchat
This one may sound a little goofy since Snapchat is used for more personal purposes (like sending funny photos of your face switched with your cat’s to your best friend). But it can also be used to help you discover more about your next base.

  1. Ask a friend to start sending you snaps of the area. That way you’ll begin to find out what there is to do, what places look like, if there’s a Target (or more importantly a Chipotle), and what to expect once you finally arrive.
  2. You can also ask a friend to send you snaps from inside a property you’re interested in. They can store those snaps in their Story so you can review them over and over throughout the day. If they’re uncomfortable keeping those photos on their Story all day, ask if you can set a time limit for how long they’ll leave those snaps up. Once the time limit expires, they can delete those snaps from their Story, easy peasy.

Hack 5—Facebook Live
Facebook Live is a fantastic tool for checking out a potential property. You can reach out to a friend and ask them to create a Facebook live video for you. They can set their audience for the video to just you so you’re the only one who can view the video.

They can then create a video while walking through a potential property. They can talk about what they like, don’t like, or anything that stands out. The best part about this tool is, once they’re done filming, they can save the video to their timeline (where only you will be able to see it!), and you can go back and review the video over and over again.

This makes it easier than doing a Facetime video with a friend and frantically trying to take notes while also trying to watch everything they’re showing you. This also helps you avoid the Facetime/video call barrier if you have phones that aren’t compatible.

Researching your next duty station doesn’t have to be all work… it can also be fun! By using the five tools above, you’ll get a fuller sense of what your next installation looks like and what life will be like on your next adventure!

Navigating a Damage Claim

When the PCS Odds are NOT in Your Favor

You prepared, researched like a BOSS, and have the perfect house lined up at your next duty station. Way to work it! Moving day arrives, and you entrust thousands of pounds of your life to a crew of packers and movers and hope/PRAY for the best!

Now, listen friends?—?sometimes this goes smoothly and without any major issues. If you get through a PCS with minimal damage and heartache, stop reading this and go buy a lottery ticket! No, really?—?we’ll wait

Sometimes, however, it can go really, really badly. Summertime is peak moving season and transportation companies are usually overwhelmed by the demand. We know, it confuses us too why “This is such a busy season” seems to be the go-to excuse. Every. Single. Year. There is a huge margin for error on their end and unfortunately we bear the brunt of those errors and suffer the material losses.

So, what do you do when it all goes wrong? You need to file a claim with the moving company, otherwise known as the Transportation Service Provider (or TSP). They broke/lost/mishandled it, so they are responsible?—?not your insurance, not the military, or the Department of Defense. You have 75 days to file the Loss and Damage Report, which initiates the process. After that, you have nine months to file your Claim (what you want them to do about it).

It seems like an overwhelming task (it’s a doozy), during a time when you’re already stressed to the max. But if your losses were significant, DO IT. Not only will this help replace/repair your things, but it will help the DoD track how well their contracted companies are performing. So help out your fellow movers by reporting bad movers!

Step One—Where to Go

 

  • Log into the Defense Personal Property System (DPS) using your Electronic Transportation Acquisition (ETA). You should already have this from when you started your move (via move.mil), but if not go ahead and register.
  • In the upper left hand side of the screen under “My Approved Applications” click on the “Claims” tab or “Defense Personal Property System (DPS).”
  • This site contains thorough tutorials and instructions for filing your claim, so I’ll spare you the exhaustive step-by-step.
  • From the “Claims” tab, select “Start My Loss/Damage Report.”
  • Click on the icon to the right of the GBL number (General Bill of Lading) blank box. If you have had more than one PCS you will see all of the GBL numbers
  • Select “Add/Update Claim Items” click on “Add Claim Item.” Add as much information as possible under each item you’re claiming. Don’t forget to click “Save” after every item entered.
  • If you have photos of the damaged items (please have photos), go to “Upload File Attachments” and click on “Add.” Search for your photos select the photos and click “Save” and “Upload File Attachment.” Tip: Snap photos of damaged items as they’re coming off the truck and consolidate them all to a folder on your computer desktop.
  • Once you’re done adding all the items, scroll to the bottom and click on “Submit Claim To TSP.”
  • That’s it for the report, but don’t stop here!

Step Two—Complete a Loss/Damage Report

Step Three—Submit Your Damage Claim

The Loss/Damage Report is only one step. This form basically initiates the claims process and serves as notification to your TSP that you intend to file a claim. The report must be completed with 75 days of delivery of your HHGs. Your TSP will then contact you regarding your actual claim, which you have nine months to file.  The itemized damage claim must also be filed through the DPS site, and resembles the process to file the Loss/Damage Report – with a little more detail. Once you’ve catalogued all the damage to your items, you can submit the claim to your TSP through the DPS form (I know, enough already with the acronyms!).

Step Four—Hurry up and Wait

So what can you expect to happen now? The TSP has 30 days to respond to your claim. They can either repair your damaged items, compensate you to have items repaired, or settle with you for the Full Replacement Value (FRV) of the item.

If they do not respond within 30 days of the claim, or respond with an unacceptable offer, you can transfer your claim to the Military Claims Office (MCO). They’ll compensate you for the depreciated FRV, and take over the fight with your TSP. If they do well, they’ll pay you the difference.

Just remember — if you had a mishap or an all out PCS tragedy, there is something you can do about it! It’s tedious, and time consuming, and literally the LAST thing you want to deal with, but there is hope! Get organized, make your voice heard, and hang in there.

Home Improvements You Can’t Ignore

There are two kinds of people in this world when it comes to home improvements: the handy types who roll up their sleeves and are prepared to take on any project, and those who call in the paid professionals. That first group? Empowered, self-confident. The latter? Not big fans of electrocution or flooding.

Us? We say go big or go home. Or go big enough that there may still potentially be a home to go back to. And we’ve got all the guidance you need right here.

Safety first. If you’re like three. Eye protection? We don’t need no stinkin’ eye protection. Eye patches are sexy and uni-sex. Imagine it: Wearing an eye patch would be like “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and Halloween in one—every day. And who needs ear plugs? Seriously? Think about the future money you’ll save not having to try to drown out noisy neighbors or snoring spouses. No hearing? No problem.

Timing is everything. When you do your project is as important as how you do it. Don’t make the mistake of waking up early to take advantage of as much sunlight as possible. It’s far more practical to start work in the middle of the day. You know, right when the sun is highest in the sky and the temperature is equator degrees. If you plan properly, you can make sure that work on the kitchen coincides with the exact time that family members expect to eat a meal of some kind. You’re not a short order cook, right? You’re a home-repairing god. They can wipe the sawdust off the counters and make their own darn sandwiches. Besides, sawdust is fiber and we all know how important fiber is to your diet.

The right tools for the job. You know you’ve got something to fix or improve. It’s time to head to your friendly big box home repair store. Roam the aisles aimlessly. Feel at one with the doodads and thingamabobs. Throw stuff willy-nilly into your cart. You’re inspired! You’re creative! You’re resourceful! Eyeball the length of that shower curtain rod. It looks about right. Right? If you’re the more mathematical type, hold your hands out in front of you about shoulder length apart. Look at the curtain rod. Look at your hands. Look at the curtain rod. Adjust the distance between your hands accordingly. Now you’re talking! Don’t forget that area rug you were scouting. Not sure if it’s long enough for the area you want to cover? Do your best “I swear I’m sober, Officer” walk, heel to toe, the length of the carpet. Perfect.

Before you head to the checkout line, make sure you stop by the rental equipment area. You no doubt need that thingy that makes the loud noises and puts holes in stuff. No clue how to operate it? No problem. After all, what’s the worst thing that could possibly happen with a big loud machine that puts holes in stuff? You wouldn’t want to find yourself in the middle of a project and missing an essential piece of equipment.

The right team for the job. Assemble your work crew. This isn’t the time to think about the people you know who actually have any experience with plumbing, electricity, or carpentry. They’ll just give their stupid opinions based on facts and professional experience and science and what not. You don’t want someone else’s opinions. You want brute strength and someone who’s as handy-challenged as you are so you don’t feel insecure. Bonus points if they’re prone to providing free labor in exchange for pizza and beer. And holding their hands on their hips staring at a problem willing it to fix itself.

Get to work! You’ve got your motley crew. You’ve got your doodads and thingamabobs. Did you forget to pick up a stud finder or level? Or to identify which walls are load bearing? No worries. It’s a freaking house. It’s built to stand, right? Grab that big loud machine rental and go to town. You’ve got this!