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Privacy for the Cat Box

by The Jana Caudill Team

Maybe your family is growing, or one day you woke up to discover you and your spouse are empty nesters.  Either way, you’ve decided the time is right to put the house on the market.  There’s just one problem, the distress caused by all the hubbub and showings to potential buyers at all hours of the day hasn’t gone unnoticed by the family cat who is suddenly doing his business everywhere but in the box.  To make sure your feline cooperates with keeping the house clean you’ll need an out of the box solution.  You don’t have to look much further than an old real estate maxim: Location, location, location.

Be sure to move the cat box to a nice private area of the home.  Cats like to be alone when nature calls, that’s why it’s important to keep the litter box out of high traffic areas.  You will want to continue prohibiting the family dog from having free access hovering about the box as well.  The key is putting the litter box in a location where it’s neither the very first thing buyers see when entering your home, nor the very last thing they see before they leave.  Negative first and last impressions are difficult to overcome when accompanied by unpleasant odors.  If you keep this in mind you’re likely to place the box where the kitty will be happier as well.

Place an old area rug or carpet remnant under the box.  Cats love to dig and scratch around the litter box; tile, hardwood, or basement cement floors aren’t the best choice.  The texture of a rug under paw makes the litter box that much more attractive to the cat, likely helping you to reaffirm that as the place to go when it comes to doing his duty.  Likewise, you can place a few sheets of aluminum foil in areas where kitty may have had recent accidents.  As much as cats love the feel of a rug under their paws, they hate the feel of aluminum foil.  Hide the foil before showings, and return it to problem spots afterwards until kitty becomes retrained to the new box location.

Click here for more dos and don’ts on retraining your cat to his litter box, and check out our blog page for more tips for home buyers and sellers.

The Great American Garage

by The Jana Caudill Team

Here are three quick tips for freeing up space in your garage:

  1. Bicycle Racks.  Whether you have a lawn mower or a snow blower (or both) everyone has large, heavy equipment of some sort taking up valuable floor space in the garage.  Bicycles take up a good amount of space as well, but they are much lighter.  Install one of a variety of bicycle racks in your garage to get them up, off the ground, and out of the way.
  2. Clear Storage Bins.  Used cardboard boxes have always been a staple of garage and basement storage.  But even when the most detailed of us labels each box with its contents often it is still difficult to find what we’re looking for when the boxes are stored up high on shelves, in lofts, or up in the attic.  Try using clear bins for storage.  Multiple bins are all of uniform size and easy to stack, AND you’ll make locating that last box of holiday decorations easier because you are able to see the contents of each bin right through the clear plastic.
  3. Go vertical!  Use the ceiling of your garage to help maximize space for storage.  There are many companies who sell motorized lifts for the lifting and storage of, among other things, bicycles.  If that’s a little pricey for your taste what about adding ceiling or wall mounted shelving units to get boxes and bins up, up, and away?

Come back and visit our blog for more great tips for home buyers, home sellers, do-it-yourselfers and more!

Doggie Doors and Cat Boxes

by The Jana Caudill Team

We love our pets.  Too bad they can’t clean up after themselves like the kids.  Unfortunately doing the dirty work for our furry friends has never been pleasant activity.  If it was we would all have a scoop or a shovel in our hands, right?  And when our pets get older, well, they simply have less control and need to go more often.  Whether you’re taking care of it yourself, or it’s a part of your children’s chore list, it’s a necessary job that becomes critical if you’re selling your home.

There’s a distinction right there I’d like to emphasize.  There is a difference between selling your home and merely showing your home.  You may be priced right for the market, have more amenities than any other home for sale in your neighborhood, and be in the best area for schools in town.  But if you’re not committed to the daily grind necessary to keep your home in showing condition none of that may matter.  If you’re not willing to do what it takes to make sure your home stands out in a very crowded marketplace you are not going to sell.  You are merely showing your home, and providing to buyers by negative comparison more reason to make an offer on something else.  Buyers are comparing you to homes that are maintained daily in the best show-shape condition possible.

Which brings us back to cat boxes boxes and doggie doors.  Keep those cat boxes raked every day, twice a day if necessary.  Doggie doors are a great way to allow Rover to hit the back yard when nature calls without you having to be there to let him out and five minutes later let him back in.  The problem is they also allow your dog to track mud or worse into the house.  Keep the back yard, or the dog run, or wherever Rover does his business cleaned up.  You may even decide to keep the doggie door locked during inclement weather, reverting to letting your dog out on your own, yes, but also ensuring the opportunity to wipe messy paws before they have a chance to leave tracks.  When visiting your home buyers like to spend some time outside, picturing themselves having a cookout, playing with the kids on the swing set, or kicking around the soccer ball.  Get rid of the source of all odors at your home, inside and out.  That means, if Fido is using the back yard when nature calls you’ll need to put the poop scoop to use often.  We love our pets.  That doesn’t mean everyone else loves our pets.  The best policy is to eliminate as many negative distractions in your home to maximize its chances of selling.

For more tips when buying or selling a home visit our links!

Selling During the Holidays

by The Jana Caudill Team

Who’s to say what conventional wisdom is nowadays: Take the house off the market before Thanksgiving.  No one buys a house during the holidays.  We’ll relist right after the New Year, and maybe we’ll reduce the price then.

Humbug.  I know we’ve already stepped into November, and the family calendar is starting to fill in for the rest of the year.  There’s Thanksgiving dinner to plan for, and Christmas or Chanukah or other religious celebrations that involve travel, and shopping, and decorating, and cleaning.  Then there’s the office holiday party, and don’t forget about the kids finishing the semester strong at school…

There are a million little excuses not to sell your home during the holidays.  Here are a few very compelling reasons to buck the trend and sell your home during the happiest time of the year:

  1. Buyers buy during the holidays.  People who write an offer on a home during the holidays are serious about purchasing.  Businesses relocate people during slow times, and transferees have windows (sometimes small windows) of opportunity to find a home during holiday vacation time.  Remember, January is the busiest month for job transfers.
  2. Your house is clean and decorated.  Whether you’re having guests over for dinner, hosting the office holiday gathering, or Grandma and Grandpa are coming to stay for a week, you’re already planning to clean house and decorate for the holidays.  Showings are fewer and less intrusive, but the buyers are serious.  With holiday decorations done right buyers easily picture themselves living in your home creating their very own holiday memories.
  3. Less Competition.  Makes sense, huh?  There are still those who will take the home off the market only to come back again in January or February.  Your sticking with it during November and December can kick start a very happy New Year for your family.

For more home selling tips for our Northwest Indiana friends, family and neighbors click our links!

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4

Contact Information

Photo of The Jana Caudill Team Real Estate
The Jana Caudill Team
Redkey Realty Leaders
503 East Summit St., Suite 2
Crown Point IN 46307
219-661-1256
Fax: 219-663-5949