Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

First impressions are everything – especially when trying to sell your home. That’s why experts from home builders to real estate agents sing the praises of stellar curb appeal. Your Stephens agent will be happy to give you additional tips on how to put your home’s best foot forward. Here are a few tried and true ways to increase your home’s curb appeal:

Emphasize the front door. Painting the front door is a great way to freshen the look of your home. Paint is inexpensive and available in any color. You may want to choose an inviting color such as red or a trendy color such as aqua blue to give your home an updated look. Remember to buy enough paint to give the shutters a fresh coat also. Other fix-ups that won’t bust your budget: new porch lights, a new welcome mat, and shiny new house numbers.

Pretty-up the porch. Your entryway should be inviting. Dated and dirty concrete slabs can look like-new with special porch paint. Replace old or rotting wood surfaces. Consider composite materials which are compression-molded and create the look of wood without painting or staining. Add a wicker chair and a few potted plants to create instant curb appeal.

Landscape like a boss. Take a look at your home from the street and notice whether plants and flower beds need attention. Keep bushes and trees neatly trimmed, deadhead flowers and pull plants that are past season. Trim low hanging branches that may block a nice view of your home. Finally, add a fresh layer of mulch to cut down on weeds and provide a fresh look.

Refresh the roof. You may not think about your roof very often, but it’s an important part of your home’s appearance. If it’s dingy and streaked, a good cleaning, or possibly a roof replacement, will increase curb appeal tremendously.

Every home and every situation is unique. Talk to your Stephens agent about ways to make your home more attractive to prospective buyers. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Moving Day

You’re excited about moving out of your old place and into your new home, but there’s a lot to think about. Stephens Real Estate has a few tips to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

Only move what you want to keep. There’s no reason to move boxes that haven’t been opened since your last move. Sort items into 3 piles: keep it, donate it, trash it, and then get rid of the clutter. You’ll thank yourself when it’s time to unpack at the new place.

Label everything. Use a marker and write on every side of the box or use a smartphone app to help you print bar-coded labels and keep inventory sheets. You will know what’s inside each box and in which room it belongs.

It takes teamwork. When people offer to help, whether it’s dropping off a pizza for dinner or helping move furniture, accept. Be ready when they arrive. Have blank inventory sheets so you can divide and conquer. One person can handle each area or room.

Have the right supplies. You will need permanent markers, pens, tape, labels, inventory sheets and scissors. Have sturdy boxes in different sizes. Moving companies usually sell boxes and packing materials and offer refunds for unused supplies. Remember to have water, food and snacks available for moving day.

Be creative. For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks. Pack your plates with foam disposable plates between them. Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where all the wires go.

Pack a moving day kit with essentials that you will need for moving day: cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, garbage bags, toiletries, and a change of clothes for each member of the family.

Protect your valuables. Find a safe place to store your valuables on moving day. Insure anything that is valuable or breakable. Backup important files and photographs stored on your computer just in case something happens in transit.

Be ready for your first night in your new home. Only unpack what you will need immediately. Ask your new neighbors for restaurant recommendations. If you have kids or pets, try to get them set up and establish their regular routines right away. Then take a break and re-energize. The boxes will be there tomorrow.

There are lots of details to consider when moving. The Stephens Pinterest page has great ideas, including a pin with 10 apps for your smartphone or tablet. Visit pinterest.com/stephensreks, and look for our Packing and Moving board.

Moving to a New Town?

People relocate for many reasons: job, family, or retirement to name a few. No matter your reason, buying a home in a new city can be challenging. Stephens Real Estate can help make the transition easier. If life is taking you away from Lawrence, KS, we’re sad to see you go, but we have the resources to connect you with the right professionals in your new hometown. We are a trusted source working with a network of agents and agencies across the country.

If you’re moving to Lawrence, from the next town over or a different part of the country, we’re your local connection. We work with many agents and real estate brokers within the United States including some of the best relocation companies around, such as Cartus, Weichert Workforce Mobility, Altair Global Relocation, and Brookfield Relocation to name a few.

We’ve been locally owned and operated since 1978. Stephens’ agents and our dedicated support team are true professionals, able to guide you through the entire process of buying or selling - from start to finish.

An added benefit to you: our agents are local experts in another way as well. They live and work here. Many of them are lifelong residents, so they know our area and are involved in everything from cheering on their kids at local ballgames to volunteering their time to local charities. They are able to suggest babysitters, physicians, dentists, mechanics or repairmen, because they use these services just like you do. “It’s not uncommon for our agents to get phone calls for advice,” says Stephens Broker, Chris Earl, “I once had a client call from I-70 with his keys locked in his car and ask who to call to get them out.”

Moving to a new town comes with a multitude of questions: which grocery store has the freshest produce, how long will it take me to get to work and what day is trash day? Your Stephens agent will be able to make a recommendation.

Another handy resource if you’re new to town is the Living Lawrence page on the Stephens website. You’ll find links to utilities, the school district, Lawrence Parks and Rec, museums and theaters, emergency contacts, and lots more. It’s a great one-stop resource when your family is new to town.

Don’t stress when it’s time to relocate. Work with a Stephens agent and benefit from our real estate expertise and our hometown knowledge. We have the resources to connect you with the right professional on your next move. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Living Lawrence

Lawrence is a great place to live, work and play, so we’ve included the Living Lawrence page on our website as a helpful resource. Read about it here, but definitely bookmark it on your computer, tablet or Smartphone because you’ll want to refer to it often – for lots of different things. Here’s an overview of what you will find at stephensre.com/buy-your-home/living-lawrence.

Essential Information is the stuff you don’t often need, but is important to have handy. Find contact information for the police, sheriff and fire departments, along with a link to the Lawrence Public School District and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Life gets tricky without our Utilities and Services. If you’re new to the area and need to connect gas and water service, or if your electricity is out, this section will help you find the people who can fix you up. We also include links that will be helpful if you need a driver’s license or a car tag.

It’s easy to see that Lawrence embraces the arts. Check out our Museums, Art & Theatre area which will direct you to the dynamic Lawrence Arts Center or Van Go, the arts-based social service program. In addition, you can connect to Final Fridays’ site, a free monthly arts festival which allows artists to showcase their work throughout our town. Find information for area museums, Theatre Lawrence and the Lawrence Children’s Choir as well.

Community Resources will give you links to everything from city recycling to the Health Department and the Boys & Girls Club. You may find a much needed service or a much desired volunteer opportunity, and you will definitely recognize that Lawrence is a resource-rich community!

The University of Kansas is its own bustling community within our city. We have included links to schedules, entertainment opportunities and events at KU.

Your options for recreational activities are many in Lawrence. Our Parks & Rec section has info about area parks, trails, tourism and sports as well as classes for adults and children throughout the year. Here you will find a link to the LPRD Activities Guide.

Downtown Lawrence is the heart of our city. Find information for activities, learn a little history, double-check the dates of the Farmer’s Market or find out what’s going on at the library.

We hope you will find our Living Lawrence page a helpful resource. With offices in Lawrence and Baldwin City, and a team of real estate professionals who are second to none, we’re your locally owned, independent real estate resource. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

The Right Time to Buy

The real estate market in Lawrence is hot - to say the least - and Spring 2018 is a great time to buy a home. Many choose to buy in the spring because the upcoming summer break is the best time to transition to a new neighborhood and school. Plus mortgage rates are still low and you can reap major tax benefits.

If you decide this is the time for you to buy, you realize it is likely the biggest financial decision of your life. It makes sense to hire a professional to help. Stephens Broker Chris Earl says, “I recommend hiring a buyer’s agent for anyone looking to buy a home. Stephens agents know what they’re doing. They know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. The spring market is fast-paced, and your agent can help find homes you may not see online. They will work for you from the initial consultation to the closing of your new home, and the commission charged to the seller typically pays your agent’s fee.”

So, how do you go about finding the right agent? Chris Earl or Pat McCandless, Co-Owners and Brokers at Stephens, will be happy to recommend an agent based on your specific list of wishes. Or you can visit our website – stephensre.com – to read about each agent. There are lots of different people on our team and you’re sure to find your best match.

Today, most buyers begin their home search online. The Stephens website is a great place to search. We feature our own listings along with everything from the multiple listing service in the Douglas County area. Many buyers find value – and a bit of fun – in visiting open houses. An open house may help you set realistic expectations, fine-tune your search criteria and make market comparisons.

We also recommend that you visit with a mortgage lender for loan pre-approval, so you are ready to act when you find the right home. Your lender can help you find a payment that best fits your budget. Working with a local lender is a good idea because they know what is expected in our market and are invested in our community.

We’re ready to help you find your new home. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315