The Best Paint Colors for Selling Your Home

When selling your home, a little bit of paint can make a big impact on buyers’ interest and your sales price. An in-depth study by Zillow found some very interesting insights on color and room combinations that can help you choose the best colors to paint your house to get the most bang for your buck.

General Paint Insights

Let’s start with some general insights that will help you throughout your home.

1. Avoid white. White has a very stark and clinical or institutional feel that turns buyers off. The exception to this is the exterior of the home where white can be a positive for your bottom line.
2. Stick with neutrals – Stick with neutrals and soft colors throughout the home. The idea is to create a blank canvas that allows the buyers to see themselves living there. Dark or bright colors might fit your own preferences but when you’re selling your home, it’s all about the buyer.
3. Think “greige” – Greige is a combination of gray and beige that is just warm enough to avoid the clinical feel of white but still creates that neutral canvas buyers want to be able to imagine themselves living in the home.
4. Keep finish in mind – Keep the finish in mind when choosing paint for each room. A flat sheen or eggshell sheen is best for living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms. A satin or semi-gloss finish is best for high traffic areas where walls might need to be wiped down or might encounter moisture such as the bathroom and kitchen.

Room by Room Paint Insights

Now that we have some general information about choosing paint colors, let’s check out the best paint colors for each room from Zillow’s study.

1. Bathroom – In the bathroom, a pale grayish periwinkle blue seemed to correlate with the best bang for the buck with buyers. It’s enough color to give the room personality but not strong enough to deviate from that neutral palette buyers prefer. It can also make the room feel larger without resorting to a harsh color like white.
2. Kitchen – In the kitchen, the wall color preferred was a light neutral of some sort but what was a hit with buyers were two-toned cabinets. Two-toned cabinets with lighter cabinets on top and darker cabinets on the bottom in grays, woods, and even blues caught buyers’ eyes more than the wall color.
3. Bedroom – In the bedroom, think pink and blue. For pinks, cool and soft pinks had a calming effect that works well in the bedroom. For blues, a pale grayish blue is subtle and cool and has been shown to improve sleep quality and duration.
4. Living Room – In the living room is where greige is most useful. Any common areas such as living rooms, family rooms, foyers and dens are great places to utilize greige or even a beige or gray. All are neutral and soft, though greige gave the most bang for the buck in the Zillow study.
5. Dining Room – For your dining room, go with an off-white or beige. Pick a light neutral that creates that blank canvas buyers like. Just be careful not to choose a beige that is too dark or too brown as brown in the dining room inched home prices downward.
6. Exterior – The exterior of your house should appear bright and clean. This is why white is one of the colors that is appropriate for your exterior, as well as off-white and light gray. Buyers decide within an average of eight seconds based on the exterior of the house whether they are interested in the property or not.
7. Front Door – While many recommend a bright color for the front door to create curb appeal, the color determined by the Zillow study to provide the most benefit to your home price for the front door was black or charcoal gray. If you go with a black or gray front door, use accessories and landscaping to create visual interest and curb appeal.

Choosing paint colors when selling your home is all about keeping the buyers in mind. What do buyers want to see? What colors will help them imagine themselves owning and living in your home? We hope this blog has helped answer some of those questions for you so you can proceed with confidence in painting your home to sell.

Community Spotlight: Plantation Lakes

The community of Plantation Lakes is located in Carolina Forest off of Carolina Forest Blvd. Carolina Forest is situated between the city of Myrtle Beach and the city of Conway, South Carolina. The community consists of custom built luxury homes from a variety of builders. The lots feature lush tropical landscaping and towering pines with many having views of the large lake that meanders throughout the complex. Let’s take a closer look at the amenities and homes of Plantation Lakes.

Plantation Lakes Amenities

Amenities enjoyed by the residents include two huge swimming pools, changing rooms/bathrooms near the pool, a playground, a clubhouse (available to rent for parties), lighted tennis courts and basketball courts. Opportunities for activity on the expansive lake include kayaking, paddle boarding and boating. While it might seem like the complex has several lakes, it is actually one very large lake that weaves through the community. Many residents have private docks for their boats on the lake but the community does have a day dock for residents to use as well. There is also ample fishing available in the community as the lake is stocked with catfish, panfish and large-mouth bass. The community also offers a large fitness room and both indoor and outdoor picnic areas perfect for a pool day lunch.

Plantation Lakes Homes

Homes in Plantation Lakes are custom built luxury homes from a variety of builders. The community features a variety of home styles to choose from but all include tropical landscaping, rolling hills and towering pines. Many homes have their own private decks on the lake for boating around the community. In fact, many homes offer unique views that can only be seen from the water. A number of homes feature private swimming pools and hot tubs. Existing homes in this neighborhood range from the high $300,000’s to over $1 million, with most homes averaging around $500,000. Land lots are still available from the $80,000’s to $200,000 and there is no time-frame to build. Lakefront and wooded lots are available as are lots that are adjacent to the conservation area bordering the complex. Students in this community attend Ocean Bay Elementary, Ten Oaks Middle School and Carolina Forest High School. The community is close to Highway 501 and the Tanger Outlets and only a short drive to the beach down International Drive.

When you’re ready to buy your new home in Plantation Lakes, call Bridgewater Homewatch for your thorough and complete home inspection! We always include thermal imaging at no additional cost to you. Thermal imaging helps us find issues that might not be visible ordinarily so you can be sure you are getting the most in-depth home inspection possible. Call us today at 843.903.HOME (4663)!

Top Home Maintenance Tasks for Wintertime

Even in South Carolina, the cold wintertime temperatures can lead to costly issues and repairs. Here are the top tasks you want to complete around your home for the winter to avoid any issues or major repairs.

1. Clean the gutters – If this sounds like a familiar task, it is! Gutters should be cleaned at least once per season to avoid clogs that can cause overflow and even break your gutters. A broken gutter can potentially damage your roof so keeping gutters clean is a must do every season. Be sure to use a hose to flush out smaller debris as it can also contribute to major build ups.

2. Clean your dryer vent – This task should be done at least two to three times per year. Clothes dryers cause over 15,000 home fires every year due to built up lint and other debris. First, get a dryer vent duct brush from your local hardware store. This can be used to clean deeper down into the lint trap farther than the catch screen goes and can clean the larger vent on the wall going to the outside. Make sure to clean out excess lint from both places. After you’ve reconnected the dryer vent, run the dryer for 20 minutes to blow any small bits you missed out to the outside.

3. Check your electrical system – Have your electrician come out to do an inspection and tune-up on your electrical system. With winter comes shorter days and longer use of electricity to light and heat our homes. Your electrician will check and test all components of your electrical system to ensure everything is in proper working order. The last thing you want on a cold night is an electrical problem taking down your HVAC or other appliances or systems.

4. Seal doors and windows – Check the seals on all of your doors and windows to be sure they are air-tight. If you close a piece of paper in the door or window, you should not be able to pull the paper out if it’s air-tight. If you find any windows or doors that aren’t air-tight, replace the weather stripping or reseal (depending on what is needed) to help avoid drafts and avoid higher utility bills due to heat loss.

5. Have an HVAC tune-up – If you haven’t already, now is the time to have your HVAC tune-up. Your HVAC technician will make sure everything is working properly and also maintain and lubricate all moving parts so your system runs as efficiently as possible. This will save energy and money on your monthly utility bill. Your technician will also look for evidence of wear and tear to help catch small problems before they become a major breakdown.

6. Weatherproof external plumbing – Any plumbing that is exposed to the cold temps either outside your home or in your garage should be insulated. Pre-cut foam insulation can be found at your local hardware store. Plumbing that goes directly to the outside should be closed off and drained before the cold temperatures hit to avoid frozen pipes. It might take a couple of days to fully drain. You’ll also want to make sure any space around this plumbing is sealed off to avoid heat loss and to prevent pest infestations.

Wintertime might seem like a time when you can rest easy on home maintenance tasks. Actually, wintertime is when certain home maintenance tasks are most important to help prevent electrical issues, HVAC breakdowns and potentially costly situations like frozen pipes. These quick 6 tasks will help you prep your home for the cooler winter temperatures.

Community Spotlight: Living Dunes

Living Dunes is a new construction neighborhood inside the larger community of Grande Dunes. It is Myrtle Beach’s first gigabit community and features green construction for a lower carbon footprint while not sacrificing style or luxury. Residents of Living Dunes can join the Ocean Club and share in the vast amenities of the greater Grande Dunes community, however, the Living Dunes has its own compliment of wonderful amenities as well.

Living Dunes Amenities

Living Dunes is a boutique, coastal neighborhood inside the Grande Dunes community. The neighborhood is focused on the simple pleasures of small town life while offering the best of resort-style living. Amenities include a large clubhouse with a catering kitchen and seating areas for get-togethers and games. The clubhouse also offers a covered porch with ample seating for enjoying the outdoors and expansive views of the many parks, fountains, lakes and green spaces in the community. Outside the clubhouse is a junior Olympic-sized swimming pool with a sun shade and a meditation lawn that offers views of the over 10 acres of lakes, fountains and nature trails in the community. The neighborhood features an eight mile system of walking trails and nature trails. A wood-burning outdoor fireplace, lakefront boardwalk and cantilever decks complete the list of wonderful amenities in the Living Dunes neighborhood. Residents who choose to become members of the Ocean Club also enjoy access to the community’s private beach area with cabanas, two golf courses and access to the 126-slip marina.

Homes in Living Dunes

The high tech homes in Living Dunes are available as single family homes or townhomes. All of the homes feature low country style architecture and green construction practices, many with expansive porches. The single family homes offer 1-2 stories, 3-4+ bedrooms and 2-3.5 bathrooms. There are 12 models to choose from and are constructed by CRG Companies. Single family homes in this neighborhood are priced from $479,000 to $600,000 and up. The townhomes offer 2-3 stories, 3-4 bedrooms and 2.5-3.5 bathrooms. There are five models of townhomes to choose from. Townhomes in this neighborhood are priced from $400,000 to $527,000 and up.

When you are ready to buy your new home in Living Dunes, call Bridgewater Home Watch for your home inspection. We include infrared thermal scanning at no additional cost to you to give you the most thorough and complete home inspection possible. Give us a call at 843.903.HOME (4663) to schedule your inspection.

Carbon Monoxide Safety

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause serious illness or death. CO is often called the silent killer for these reasons. It is produced whenever fossil fuels are burned including natural gas, gasoline, and charcoal to name a few. The best thing to do is to take measures to prevent CO poisoning to begin with. However, if you experience sudden dizziness, nausea or lightheadedness and suspect CO as a culprit, it’s important to seek medical help immediately.

Preventing CO Poisoning

Preventing CO poisoning is crucial to protecting your family’s health and well-being. Here are some tips to help you prevent CO poisoning.

1. Have your HVAC, water heater and any other gas-powered appliance professionally serviced and checked at least yearly.

2. Don’t use a gas oven to heat up your home.

3. Don’t leave gas-powered space heaters running unattended.

4. Make sure your battery-operated or battery-backup CO detector is working properly. Replace the batteries every time you change the clocks and test it monthly to ensure it is in working order.

5. Never run a vehicle inside the garage, even with the door open.

6. Don’t burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn’t vented to the outside.

7. Never use a generator, camp stove, charcoal grill or other fuel-burning device inside your home.

8. Don’t use a generator, power washer or other gas-powered engine within 30 feet of your home.

If your CO detector goes off, get everyone outside (including pets) and then call 911. The fire department will let you know if and when it is safe to re-enter the home. Never ignore or remove the batteries from your CO detector if it goes off. Even small amounts of CO can cause serious illness or death. If you think there may be a CO leak in your home, don’t delay. When in doubt, get out and call for help.