My Blog

Garage Conversions can be done right


I showed a home earlier this week and the garage had been converted into heated and cooled space.  This is normally a turn off for potential buyers. However, in this particular home, the conversion looked so good that it actually added to the showing experience for my buyer.  Some things to remember when converting the garage:

  • Spend the money to make the exterior look as similar to rest of the house as possible
  • Cover the Electrical Panel
  • Give the new space a specific purpose (make it look like a den or a bedroom etc.)
  • Heat and Cool through the existing HVAC system (you may need to upgrade systems based on the sq ft added)
  • Move the Washer and Dryer to another part of the house or build in a specific Laundry room

I took a couple of pictures that you can see on my FB Page.

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Happy Veterans Day


Tomorrow is Veterans Day and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate everything our Veterans do for us. Thank you for your service. 

Open House Cleaning Checklist


Cleaning your home for an Open House can be overwhelming (especially if you are living in your home). Check out this Cleaning List For Open Houses by the blogger and get your house ready to show- and sell!

Winterize Your Home


Winterizing your home is a lot easier to do when it is still warm outside. Don't wait until the last minute. Winterizing your home will decrease your utility bills and possibly save you from structural problems down the road. 




1. Get Your Draft Snakes Ready- Draft snakes can easily be made from a towel or an old t shirt. Simply roll up the fabric and fit it under the bottom of the door. If you want to get really fancy, you can even fill the rolled up fabric with sand and sew up the loose ends.

2. Do You Have Really Old Windows?- Bubble Wrap may be your new wintertime buddy. Tape bubble wrap to the insides of your windows to trap air that cools down your home. You will still get lots of natural light!

3. Caulk Up Windows and Doors- Caulk wears off over time, so fill in those cracks before it gets cold out! It is estimated that this simple fix can save you up to 30% of energy expenditure annually! (Keeps cold air out in the winter and cold air IN in the summer!)

4. Switch the Direction of Your Ceiling Fans- Set them to Clock-wise to help spread out the nice warm air your heater is producing.

5. Install a Storm Door- Installing a storm door seals off any cracks under your front door that winter air could sneak through. You will love having a storm door in the summer too!

6. Cover Exterior Pipes- Find out which pipes in your home are at risk for freezing. Cover these with the proper materials to avoid frozen pipes this winter.

Whether your home is brand new or it has a couple years under its belt, winterizing it is not something to put off until it’s cold out.

My Neighbors Are Slowing Down My Home Sale


Is the house next door a little grown over? Do your neighbors have cars parked all over the yard? Here are a couple tips for dealing with a problem house next door when trying to sell. 


Jungle Next Door- If your neighbors have been neglecting their yard then there may be a reason why. Perhaps they are unable to mow the grass or just didn't realize it was a nuisance. Try explaining that you are trying to sell your home and see if that takes care of the problem. If it doesn't, offer to mow their grass and trim the hedges for them. I know it isn't your responsibility, but one Saturday spent working in the neighbor's yard is worth selling your home faster. If all else fails you can call the city. 


Foreclosure Next Door- This one can be a little tricky to deal with. Some buyers won't think twice about it and for other buyers it will be a deal breaker. In most cases the bank that owns a foreclosed house has to at least keep up with the basic landscaping and keep the property free of squatters and wildlife. Try taking pictures of your property and the foreclosed property and send them to the bank that owns the foreclosure. Usually this will bump the property up on their priority list.


Junk Cars- Ask your neighbor if they would be willing to move the cars, or even just park them in their backyard (not ideal, but it's better than nothing). Sometimes, depending on where you live, the city has rules for the types of cars that can be parked in a residential area. So it may be worth calling the city over. 


Noisy Dogs- Ask your neighbors to keep their dogs inside when you have Open Houses or viewing appointments. Not only will your Open House be more inviting, but the dogs will be more comfortable as well. 


Talk to your neighbors. Explain the situation. If you can't reach a reasonable agreement, get the city involved. But most of the time being honest and polite will solve the situation.

Paint Before You List It


Clients always ask me if they should paint their home before listing it. I usually tell them, YES. Painting your home a neutral like beige, gray, or cream definitely helps to sell your home quicker and for more. A new coat of paint makes a home smell newer, look cleaner, and won't cost you much to do. I recommend painting the living areas, the kitchen, the main bathroom, and the Master Bedroom. Also, don't forget to touch up the hallways and closet doors. This easy fix will make your home appear well maintained which in turn helps sell it faster. 



Check Out these examples of neutral paint colors. These colors are still interesting but they also appeal to most people. 

SW Seascape^

SW Agreeable Gray ^


SW Kilim Beige^


How to Connect With Me


Do you need a Realtor or just want to stay up to date with housing information in the Huntsville area? Here is how to stay in touch with realtyhsv and get updates on current listings.


1. Subscribe to

2. Follow @realtyhsv on twitter

3. Like Roland Realty HSV on Facebook. 


When looking for a home it's very important to stay up to date on new listings. You never know if your dream house #justgotlisted!\


I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable Labor Day. 



A Few Tips for First Time Buyers


Thinking about buying your first home? Congratulations! Now is a great time for buyers. Take a look at these tips and make your first home purchase stress free. 


Save Money Up for Your Down Payment- Try to save as much as you can for a down payment. This is tough, because it seems like as soon as you deposit a check into savings the car breaks down or an unexpected bill pops up. But try to save as much as possible. Also look into down payment assistance programs, you never know which bank is willing to help!


Factor in Monthly Expenses- When looking at the price of a home you are interested, be sure to add together the expected mortgage and your monthly living expenses. Maybe the top of your buying budget is actually too high. 


Shop for a Mortgage- Don't just sign on the line at the first place you check out. You never know who is going to be willing to give you a better rate. 


Do Your Homework- Read up on mortgages, home owners insurance, resale value, etc. Get a reliable realtor who you trust and who has a high rating. 


A House Can Be Changed- No home you look at will have %100 of what you want. Location, Price, and Square Footage are the things you can't change(not easily). Make sure that these are the main things that you are focusing on. Counter tops, carpet, and light fixtures can be changed. Even if it takes a few years to get the home to be your style, your bank account will thank you. 


Home Repairs You CAN NOT Ignore


I'm a homeowner and I completely understand that some repairs simply have to be put off. For example, replacing screens on windows or the ceiling fan that seems a little loose. These repairs can wait. But there are some repairs that can't. 


1. Leaks- Sure, they can be expensive to repair. But cut your losses and fix them before the damage spreads. 


2. Clean Out Your Gutters- If you don't, the water may cause damage. When gutters are backed up, the water tends to overflow and run down the side of the house-straight down into your foundation. That's going to cost you big time to fix. 


3. Knob and Wire Tubing- If you know that your home has this type of electrical wiring, it may be a good idea to look into updating your electrical system. These types of wires are prone to fire. 


Keep up with these repairs and your home will be easier to sell and be more pleasant to live in. 

an example of Knob and Tube Wiring. 

Trees You Should Avoid Planting in Your Yard


Trees are good and bad for resale value. It honestly depends on the buyer, type of tree, and location. But there are a few tree types that end up being more of a hassle for the home owner than they are worth. 


1. Willow-- The Willow tree is beautiful and easily recognizable. But the roots of this tree are water hungry and will invade plumbing pipes and concrete. On top of this, the tree only lives for an average of 30 years. 


2. Bradford Pear- These trees are gorgeous. But their branches split off easily once matured, which could cause damage if the trees are planted near porches, driveways, or a roof line. The blossoms can also be a nightmare during allergy seasons. 


3. Mulberry- This tree deposits messy fruit, has huge surface roots, and casts a thick shade that kills grass. 


With thousands of pretty trees to pick from, try to avoid these three. Your future self will thank you. 


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