DAN DEVINE | Philadelphia Real Estate


Your home can undergo a variety of improvements, both inside and out. Enriching the beauty and value of a home is just one reason for improvements; they should also be to repair any damages. Adding more space or making the home safer are also good reasons for home upgrades. 

There are several different reasons to do improvements, and you will find that many are time-consuming. They are, however, usually worth the energy and time that you put into them; and, you are bound to appreciate the outcome. An improvement alters and changes the home for the better. If you plan to put your home up for sale or wish to make it more livable for your family, there is a lot to be garnered from making home improvements. 

The initial home improvements you should consider are repairs. Attend to any ceiling leak problems, the plumbing job you have been putting off, or that attic insulation that has become necessary. Doing repairs first holds whether you are planning to live in the home yourself, put it up for rent, or put the house on the market.

Home improvement projects that involve restructuring need to be well thought out so that they do not look out of place and mar the street appeal of the house. They are usually done to enhance lighting, provide more space, or improve the home's exterior aspect. Remodeling your home can also mean an improvement in its atmosphere. For instance, if a kitchen wall is removed to create an open concept, it immediately makes the home friendlier and more sociable.

Improvements in your home could involve:

- Repairs of already existing structures

- Remodeling certain rooms of the home to give them a face-lift

- Adding to your home to improve quality of life such as a second bath

- Home improvement projects to add energy efficiency.

Remodeling your kitchen or bath is a smart move if you are planning to put your home up for sale. These upgrades increase the value of the house immediately, and if appropriately researched, can be done with a high return on your investment.

Helping a home's energy efficiency is also an excellent idea for adding resale value, because not only does it reduce the electricity and gas bills, it is a great thing to do for the environment. Improvements in the insulation of the home can be a long-term blessing. Investing in a home so that it harvests solar energy could be another way of improving the house for posterity. 

Do not undertake extensive projects on a whim. It is essential to consider why a specific project is required, and what you gain from the expense. So, home improvements involving repair increase the comfort in the home and its longevity and are therefore essential. But all other sorts of home improvements need careful judgment before embarking on them. 

If you need help determining the return on investment for a particular improvement, talk to your local real estate professional for advice.



Have you ever wondered what makes some house’s curbside appeal look so great and otherse2e more of a “what were they thinking”?

No one plans to be the latter. This can make choosing a paint color for your home’s exterior quite the daunting task. Afterall, it’s not exactly a quick project you can repaint if the color isn’t quite what you thought it should be.

Use these general guidelines to pick the perfect color for your home’s exterior.

You want to pick a color that goes well with your home’s surroundings. These are the things you don’t plan on changing anytime soon like the roof, stonework, the driveway, and pathways.

It’s important to understanding if the undertones of these elements is warm or cool as this can help inform your color decision. Warm colors would be browns, beige, and brick while cool colors would be blacks grays and blues.

Whichever the main undertone is for the surroundings choose the opposite tone for the color of your home. This will help your home feel like a natural placement without completely blending into its surroundings.

Another factor to take into consideration is to know your home’s architectural style and the colors typically used in that style and era. Sticking at least somewhat close to these color schemes when you choose your own shades will prevent your home from feeling “off”.

Once you have these two factors determined it’s time to do some research. Drive through your neighborhood and those that have homes which catch your eye. You can also take to Pinterest and pin images of homes that catch your eye to make an inspiration board. Take notes on those that are your favorites, have a similar style to your home or have a color you particularly like.

When it comes to choosing your color you’ll want to pick two or three colors. One for the siding, one for the trim and a third if you are looking to repaint doors or shutters.

Typically the trim work color contrasts with your main color. Think of the traditional white trimming that pops against most popular home colors. You could also select a lighter shade of your siding color for a monologous color palette that creates a serene peaceful feel.

Pick a good quality paint that will withstand time and weather. Painting exterior is a lot of work and making the investment means not having to touch up as often. It is also wise to pick a brand that offers sampler options for you to “try on” the paint color. Try just a few colors on your home as a swatch test to see how they look in different lighting your house receives throughout the day.



As a homebuyer, it is easy to envision finding the perfect house, submitting an offer on it and acquiring it right away. However, it is important for buyers to consider the worst-case scenarios as well.

A buyer who understands the worst-case scenarios that he or she may encounter during the homebuying journey can plan accordingly. That way, this buyer will be better equipped than others to avoid various homebuying worst-case scenarios altogether.

Now, let's take a look at three common homebuying worst-case scenarios, as well as how buyers can avoid these situations.

1. You find your dream home, but it falls outside your price range.

If you enter the housing market without a mortgage in hand, you may need to act quickly to acquire the necessary financing to purchase your dream house. But once you kick off a search for a mortgage, you may find that the cost to acquire your dream home falls outside your budget.

When it comes to getting home financing, it often helps to be proactive. Fortunately, if you meet with banks and credit unions before you launch a home search, you can determine exactly how much money you can spend on a residence.

Banks and credit unions employ friendly, knowledgeable mortgage professionals. With these mortgage experts at your side, you should have no trouble getting pre-approved for a mortgage at your convenience.

2. You discover a wide range of problems during a home inspection.

A home inspection likely will be completed in the days after a seller accepts your offer on a residence. And in some instances, an inspection may force you to reconsider whether you want to purchase a house.

If you encounter problems during a home inspection, you still have lots of options. You can ask a seller to perform assorted home repairs or reduce your offer. Or, you can walk away from a home sale and restart your home search.

For homebuyers who are worried about any problems that they encounter during a home inspection, it is paramount to look closely at all of the aforementioned options. By doing so, you can make an informed decision about whether to proceed with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

3. You employ a real estate agent who fails to help you achieve your homebuying goals.

Many real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide. But if you fail to conduct an extensive search for the right real estate agent, you may struggle to accomplish your homebuying goals.

When choosing a real estate agent, you should learn about this housing market professional's industry experience. It also helps to meet face-to-face with a real estate agent and discuss your homebuying goals with him or her. This will enable you to determine whether you're comfortable working with a particular real estate agent.

Enjoy a quick, stress-free homebuying experience – consider the aforementioned worst-case homebuying scenarios, and you can minimize the risk of potential pitfalls throughout the homebuying journey.



For parents who need to move a family from Point A to Point B, keeping kids busy can be difficult. Lucky for you, we're here to help you entertain your kids throughout the moving cycle.

Now, let's take a look at three activities that you can use to keep your kids busy on moving day.

1. Packing Last-Minute Items

Last-minute items like clothing and toys will need to get packed up before you can leave your current address. Fortunately, you can rely on your kids for extra help with packing these belongings.

Including your kids in the packing process is a great way to bond with your children. In fact, you and your kids can work together to pack up last-minute belongings and ensure these items quickly and safely reach your new address.

2. Creating a Moving Day Journal

Let's face it – moving can be stressful, particularly for kids. However, if you encourage your kids to create a moving day journal, you may be able to help your children alleviate stress.

A moving journal offers a great opportunity for a child to express his or her thoughts about an upcoming move.

Furthermore, a child can use a moving journal to envision what life might be like at his or her new house. This journal can even include drawings that illustrate how a child might decorate his or her new bedroom, lists of ideas about things to do near a new house and much more.

3. Playing Board Games and Car Games

Pack a bag of board games to help your kids pass the time in the car – you'll be glad you did. These games are easy to play and will help your children stay entertained for hours.

Memorization games are great for kids and parents alike too. Of course, don't forget about the classic "I spy" game that you can play with your children while you drive to your new address.

Lastly, if you need extra help as you prep for your move, you should not hesitate to reach out to a real estate agent.

A real estate agent is a moving expert who can take the guesswork out of relocating to a new residence. He or she can help you get in touch with local moving companies, offer packing tips and provide fun suggestions so that you can keep your kids busy while traveling.

Perhaps most important, a real estate agent can offer comprehensive assistance as you buy or sell a house. If you need help finding a residence or selling one as quickly as possible, a real estate agent will work with you so that you can achieve your goals. Also, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying or home selling concerns at any time.

Want to get the most out of moving day with your children? Take advantage of the aforementioned moving day activities, and you and your kids can enjoy an unforgettable moving day experience.



When it comes to home safety, three areas need to be on the radar for review at least twice a year. Some folks check them with the summer and winter solstice and others with the change to and from daylight savings time. But you might want to check these more often. Whatever the schedule, these three items need your regular attention.

Smoke Detector

Testing your emergency equipment is a no-brainer, but your smoke detector particularly should be tested often. FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says to check them monthly and replace the batteries at least every six months. According to agency reports, sixty percent of home fire deaths happen in properties where the smoke alarm does not work. And thirty-eight percent of home fire deaths occur in properties where there is no smoke detector or smoke alarm at all. But, working smoke alarms reduce by half the risk of death by a house fire.

So, check your alarm every month, and more frequently if cooking smoke activates it since activation can make both the battery and the alarm wear out. Also, test the alarm and check the battery if the alarm chirps or gives false alarms. Always use fresh new batteries. Even if your system connects to your home’s electrical system, the backup batteries need checking since the risk of a house fire when the power is out or upon power restoration is high.

Fire Extinguisher

Along with smoke detectors, every house should have a fire extinguisher. You should keep one in the kitchen and any other area prone to fire, especially if you have a wood-burning fireplace or your barbecue is near to the home. But don’t just install it and forget about it. When fire extinguishers go unused for a long time, they may depressurize. Unless you check them, you won’t know until you need to use it.

Review your owner's manual. It should have a maintenance schedule. If it doesn’t have one, contact the manufacturer for one.

Along with the pressures, when checking it, be sure:

  • Check the pressure. Usually, an extinguisher has a gauge. Make sure the pressure indicator is in the safe zone.
  • Nothing blocks access. If you install in a cabinet, place it near the front. Better yet, mount it inside the door.
  • The pin and tamper seal must be intact. Make no corrosion appears on the tank, and the nozzle and hose are crack free.

You don’t want to learn that your extinguisher is inoperative during a fire emergency. Serviced or replaced your extinguisher every five to ten years.

Electrical Panel

Most people don't think about their electrical panel except during a power outage. Wires, breakers, and switches age and can fail when you need them most. Have a certified electrician test your panel at least every three years, and immediately if you have a breaker that continually needs resetting, have frequent power outages, see sparks or flames from a light switch or power outlet, or rely on your home power to operating medical or other critical equipment.

If you need assistance finding qualified specialists to check your safety equipment, contact your real estate professional today.