Digital Upgrades To Help Sell Your House

Ready to sell your house this spring? Anyone can tell you to give it a new coat of paint, plant some flowers, and wash the windows. But what about the technology in your house? A simple thermostat will get the job done, but many looking to buy these days prefer smart home technology.

In a recent list from, they broke down several tech upgrades you can add to your home to help it sell.

Wi-Fi Connection

More and more Americans are leaving behind their landlines and making the full switch to cellular and wireless Internet connection. Don't worry too much if a buyer’s cell coverage in a house is spotty, as it may just be issues with the buyer’s cell service, not yours.

If you’re really concerned, however, cellphone signal boosters ($49 to $500) that can be found at most home electronics stores can fix the problem, especially in row houses or town homes.

Smart Doorbells

Smart doorbells that often cost between $100 and $200 that are equipped with cameras that turn on whenever the button is pressed or activity is detected near the door are helping to increase home security.

Even if you’re not home, a smart doorbell connected to your phone’s camera can make it look like you are.

Smart Door Locks

If you’re tired of always losing your keys, then smart locks, which retail between $79 to $250 can help. You can program them to only open with a tap from your cellphone, unlock with Bluetooth proximity sensing or program with a code for temporary or periodic access for contractors or house cleaners.

Smart Lighting

The dozens of smart lights ($25 to $50) that can be controlled by your smartphone can not only create mood lighting and alert you to incoming calls, texts and even Facebook posts. noted that this is both a security as well as a comfort feature. Different lighting patterns will scare away potential burglars.

Smart Climate Control

Thermostat's like Nest are becoming a favorite in new homes. It can sense your preferences and adjust accordingly. For example if you like the house a toasty 74 degrees when you get up at 7 a.m, the Nest ($249) will remember to start warming the house at 6:27 a.m, having calculated how long it takes to reach the desired temperature based on your movements and preferences.

It’s similar to when you leave at 9 a.m. and hit the thermostat to 68 degrees. The Nest can subsequently figure out when to start lowering the heat so your house will hit the mark just when you close the door.

Make sure you read the full article from for more information.

Posted on March 25, 2016 at 12:14 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Improvement

Where to Spend to Up Your Home’s Value

Home remodels can add great value to your home. They may come with a lot of work, but the return on your investment can save you tons when you decide to sell your home. Here's where investing a $10,000 new look in your home will go the furthest.

1. Kitchen.

A $10,000 investment is not going to get you a full kitchen makeover and leave enough extra cash to make many other upgrades. Instead, think about upgrading tired old appliances. Cabinet resurfacing and upgrading the countertops can be very affordable and give a big splash. One word of caution: Make sure you don't overspend for your neighborhood. Know your market.

2. Master bath.

Again, here in the master bath, $10,000 will not go very far, but you can create a wow effect. Consider upgrading the shower to a frameless glass shower enclosure, adding new fixtures, and maybe a new vanity and countertops.

3. Paint.

Repaint the interior of your home and keep it neutral with soft earth tones. Then make sure you pick up some fantastic pillows and accessories to add punches of color.

4. New carpet.

No homebuyer wants to walk barefoot across your tired, old, stained, dirty, worn-out carpet. When you replace the existing carpet, go with a neutral shade.

5. Curb appeal.

This is a low-cost no-brainer. Trim up the hedges, give the grass some TLC, plant some flowers, and give the front door a fresh coat of paint in a wonderful accent color. Create a strong first impression by adding shiny new house numbers and maybe even a new mailbox. Finally, add in some wonderful outdoor lighting, and presto!

6. Push the inside out.

If there's an existing room that looks out to the backyard, push it out! Replace existing windows with French doors and build a small deck. You've just increased the "size" of that room — and added value to the house for very little money.

Read more on where to spend $10,000 from AOL Real Estate.

Posted on August 27, 2015 at 12:24 pm
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Improvement

10 Ways to Springify Your Home

Happy first day of spring! I hope you are ready for the continued beautiful weather and the busy spring housing market!


Whether you're thinking of selling or not, now is a good time to clean out and "springify" your home. Realty Times put together a list of some easy ways to get ready for the new season. Here are some of my favorites:


3. Donate the rest

Take anything that didn't sell at your garage sale to a local charity. Not only will you be helping those in need, but your donation is also tax deductible.


5. Scruba-dub

Now's the time to tackle those projects you only get to every once in awhile. Cleaning out your gutters. And your dryer vent. And under your bed. While you're at it, pull furniture away from the walls and vacuum behind there as well. 


6. Get organized

If your junk drawer now numbers three and your closets are bulging with stuff you never got around to folding or sorting through, there's no time like the spring to get it outta there and make it pretty.


8. Curb your enthusiasm

Has the hard winter affected your curb appeal? Once the ice breaks, it's time to get out and pretty up your yard. It's amazing how raked leaves, a new doormat, and a touch of color in your flowerpots can easily transform the front of your house. 


Make sure you read the full list from Realty Times. 


VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to helping you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on March 20, 2015 at 9:15 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Improvement | Tagged , , , , ,

Porch and Windermere Real Estate Team Up

Windermere has teamed up with Seattle-based Porch to provide users with renovation history for available listings. 

It's an amazing new feature that we've added to to the website. Now, when you're visiting a Windermere listing, you can click "Renovation History" and be directed to the Porch website to see all the work that has ever been done to the property!

"Windermere Real Estate is constantly looking for new ways to deliver innovative products to our agents and customers," Windermere President OB Jacobi said in the release.

"The addition of the Porch Home Report will help everyone involved in the home buying process make better decisions through the transparency and confidence a Porch Home Report delivers." 

You can visit any of my listings on the Windermere site to put the "Renovation History" button to good use! 

You can view and leave a review on my Porch Pro profile here, too.

Read the full article from The Seattle PI for more information.

VA Loan

Are you ready to buy a home and qualify for the VA loan? Let me help you out! As a local real estate broker in Bellevue, WA and a Veteran of foreign wars, I am committed to helping you find the home you deserve through the VA loan.

Posted on March 6, 2015 at 11:50 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Improvement, Veterans in Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

My Go-To Vendors

I'd like to send out a thank you to all the amazing professionals I work with on a daily basis. I also want to take this opportunity to share them with you! I usually send this info when it's requested. But I thought this might be a great referral resource for you to hold onto if you need any of their services in the future.


These professionals are the best of the best and work hard to put your needs first. They produce quality work and have the highest recommendations from me.


A Roofing
Adam Rubin


ABC Jet Steam
Kel and Deb Brown


American Family Insurance
Sean Sundwall


Andrea Braund Staging
Andrea Braund


Business Tax Solutions

Mira Torres


Caliber Home Loans (formerly Cobalt Mortgage)
Laney Shorett


Countryside Floral
Jon Throne


Gabe's Lock and Key
Gabe Christianson


Heinz Marketing
Matt Heinz


Hinkley Home Inspections
Mark Hinkley


Impact Life Now
Alicia Caswell


Miki's Cleaning
Miki Klarich


Morgan Stanley – The Gateway Group
Liz Strathy and Traci Bumpus


Moving Link
Rich Harper and Mike Menti


Perma Dry Waterproofing
Aaron Calvo


Sergey's Deluxe
Sergey Ayvazov


Shine Marble & Granite Fabrication
Dumitru Pintilie


Scarff Law Firm
Stuart Scarff


Washington Water Heater, Heating and Air Conditioning
Steve Skeen

Posted on January 16, 2015 at 9:35 am
Steve Harwood | Category: Home Improvement | Tagged , ,