Brighten Up Your Interior

family room photoMaximizing the amount of light in your home is a great way to brighten your living areas, whether you are considering selling your home, or just wanting to update your current home.  Here are four suggestions of ways to brighten up the interior of your home:

  1. Are your windows older or inefficient?  Replacing them with more efficient models, and possibly adding or enlarging your window space while you are doing so will lighten up your living spaces instantly.  Making sure your windows are dual-pane will help to keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in the summer months, and if you are listing your home for sale, will be an upgrade that will interest potential buyers.
  1. Is your interior paint on the cool and bright color spectrum?  If not, consider repainting your interior walls in a lighter color. The trend in years past in the Valley of the Sun was darker colors in desert-themed shades.   These colors, while they did the job they were designed to do—accenting walls while being on trend—aren’t the best choice to reflect light and brighten your spaces.  An off-white or light gray shade can instantly lighten your home, with little money expended.  An added bonus if you’re listing your home for sale will be to make your home appear fresher and cleaner.
  1. Have you considered installing solar tunnels?  While skylights were popular in years past, they aren’t necessarily the most economical or waterproof option.    Solar tunnel lights, or tubular lights, are absolutely an economical choice (ranging from $500-$700 each) and they can be installed in a standard, non-concrete tile roof in a matter of a few hours.  A solar tunnel light is a shaft from the roof into the drywall ceiling of your home, and has a reflective coating in the tunnel itself.  A transparent lens sits on top of the roof and focuses daylight down into a lens in the ceiling itself.  Tunnel lights can be utilized to their best effect in kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and utility rooms—anywhere more natural light is needed.
  1. Does your home have an open floor plan?  If not, an easy way to increase the light in your home is to remove cabinets that block light from a kitchen window to an adjacent room, or vice versa.  This is a relatively simple and quick option that will not only increase the value of your home due to the resulting open floor plan feel, but will also increase the natural light throughout this area of your home.

Whether you choose one method or a few of these methods, going light and bright is a winning proposition for updating your home, or getting it ready for sale to maximize your resale value.   I have more tips for you that are specific to your home.

Barrett-Jackson Arrives for 45th Anniversary Auction

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

The world’s greatest car collector auction, Barrett-Jackson, headquartered in Scottsdale, is igniting the auction block this weekend for its 45th Anniversary. The event, taking place at WestWorld, runs from January 23 through January 31. Ranging from the outrageously expensive to the hot and flashy, the 2016 auction docket will feature over 1,400 rare and exceptional vehicles, most selling at no reserve.

On its 45th anniversary, the annual auto auction is “transforming” with two big Hollywood additions: Optimus Prime and Bumblebee from the blockbuster Transformers films. You will be able to see the semi-truck and sports car in person when the auction opens and you can even get behind the wheel. Director and car enthusiast Michael Bay will be selling his 1967 Chevrolet Camaro used to play Bumblebee as well as the 1992 Peterbuilt semi-truck that served as Optimus Prime. These won’t be the only celebrity cars to cross the auction block at this year’s event. Others include:

  • A 1970 Chevrolet Corvette custom-made for actress Farrah Fawcett by George Barris, who also designed the Batmobile
  • A 1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow that was singer Frank Sinatra’s wedding present to wife Barbara
  • A 1995 Volkswagen Jetta from the first “Fast & Furious” move, owned by actor Frankie Muniz and autographed by the late “Furious” star Paul Walker


While some of the over 1,400 cars are worth the auction visit just to see how much they’ll sell for, others have a cool factor that makes our inner-car lover giddy. For a schedule of all events during the nine day auction, visit Barrett Jackson. For more information on becoming a bidder, follow the link to Barrett-Jackson bidding. Experience the 45th Anniversary Scottsdale Auction in style with a Barrett-Jackson VIP Experience Package. Information on available packages and how to be a part of this world-class lifestyle event is available here.

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

Courtesy of Barrett-Jackson

For information on more exciting, upcoming events in the Valley, contact Elise Fay and Associates.

Updating Your Home With Less Money

Whether your home is updated is often one of the many factors that determines what the price of your home should be.  This calculation is based on a comparison to other homes in your neighborhood (ie, the comparables).  Many home buyers are looking for homes that are updated.  If your home isn’t updated, these buyers may either skip your home because they don’t want to do these updates themselves, or they may start adding up the cost to update your home, and may not offer as much money if they do make an offer to buy.

white kitchen photo

Having said this, updating your home may be an expensive proposition.  Here are a few less expensive ways you may want to consider implementing some updates.  First, bathrooms and kitchens are the most important rooms in a house in terms of updating.  If your bathtub is old and/or overused, a simpler solution than ripping out and replacing your bathtub may be a tub re liner.  These are acrylic shells that are constructed and fitted specifically to the dimensions of your tub, and are installed directly over your tub, along with the installation of a new drain and overflow.  A less expensive option, but often less desirable, is to re glaze or refinish your tub.  In this method, the old porcelain glaze is stripped off with strong chemicals, and a finishing coat is applied.  A muriatic acid wash may also be a method to consider if your tub is porcelain and just has rust stains.

Cabinets are another area in which to consider updates.  By refinishing or re facing your kitchen and bathroom cabinets instead of replacing them entirely, you will save a lot of money.  If the interiors of your current cabinets are free of water damage and are solidly constructed, refinishing or re facing your cabinets will cost you less than half of what it would cost to replace them altogether.  With re facing, the doors and drawer fronts will be removed, and they can be replaced with any style or finish.  A finished wood veneer will be affixed to the cabinet sides, and new knobs and handles can finish the updated look.

If the style of your existing cabinets is relatively traditional or on trend, just refinishing your cabinet doors and drawers is an even less expensive option.  A professionally applied coat of paint (white and gray are popular choices, and are on trend) can brighten up and update your entire kitchen and bath in a matter of a few days.

Finally, consider simply painting the rooms in your home with neutral paint, as a simple and relatively inexpensive way to update your residence in preparation for sale.  Be sure to paint with primer first if you’re covering a dark color with a light color, to ensure that the end results look professional.  Whatever you choose to do with an eye toward updating your home, the results will be sure to help you maximize the final sale price of your home.