Increase the Value of Your Home

Many people regard their house not only as a place to call home, but also as an investment. Whether they have no intention of selling until after they retire and their children are grown or whether they are looking to move as soon as the housing market in their area is strong, most people are looking for ways to increase the value of their homes. Here are fifteen tips to keep in mind when working towards this goal.

1) Ask for Help from Professionals

Hire either a realtor or a designer to spend just an hour going over the home and suggesting improvements, it will be well worth the investment.

2) Have an Inspection Done

An inspector can help a homeowner discover any potential problems, such as termites, that could derail a sales process so they can be fixed beforehand.

3) Paint

Adding fresh paint is one of the easiest and cost effective ways to make a home look like new.

4) Cut Energy Costs

Not only can these improvements cut costs now, they will also make great selling points later on.

5) Add Low Maintenance Landscaping

Additions such as trees or shrubs that do not require too much work but add to curb appeal are excellent choices. Check out HGTV for some more tips on landscaping.

6) Get Rid of Popcorn Ceilings

This style of ceiling is quickly becoming dated and few homeowners want to deal with it. Buying a solution to soften the texture and then scrape it away.

7) Test the Air Quality in Home

Find sources that could be potentially contaminating the home, such as old carpets, and replace them with other options, such as tile, which is easier to keep clean.

9) Secure Your Home

Home security is often a project that only lasts a day or at most a couple days and can make your home a lot more attractive to potential buyers.  Check out for more information on some great plans you can have integrated into your home.

8) Make Sure the Bathroom is Up To Date

Bathrooms are popular for potential buyers to critique, so make sure to update any fixtures and wallpaper.

9) Get Rid of Clutter

Help the home make a great first impression by getting rid of any extras to help the space feel open and welcoming

10) Update Any Worn Carpets or Rugs

Fresh carpeting helps the room look its best, whereas worn carpeting just looks stale and old.

11) Update the Kitchen

The kitchen is another room where many potential buyers tend to focus. Consider updating areas such as fixtures or even small appliances to help everything look its best.

12) Stay on Top of Regular Maintenance

Every home has small little things that need to be fixed or updated. On their own they may not seem like much, but together they can really add up.

13) Keep the Outside Looking Fresh

The outside of the home, such as or an overgrown lawn or porch, can really detract from the curb appeal of a home, so be sure to stay on top of outdoor care.

14) Keep Home Fixtures Updated

Some home fixtures, such as fans are great selling points, but only if they look great. An old, wobbly fan is not going to do any good.

15) Add a Water Filtration System

These systems tend to be inexpensive, but they are a great selling point.

Taking the time to update small parts of the house can help homeowners dramatically increase the value when it comes time to sell. Fortunately, many of these improvements can be made slowly and over time to avoid straining the budget. Use the above list to be inspired and get started.

Nonprofit Texas 4000

            Prior to their departure, students must raise at least $4,500 and ride at least 1,500 miles with their teammates. So far, rider and cancer survivor Bucky Ribbeck has raised more than $21,000 for the trip with a goal of reaching $25,000. Ribbeck said he does not consider himself to be a cyclist but that Texas 4000 is a good reason to become one.

Newland Communities, Ryland Homes Helping Raise Money for Homeless Mothers & Their Children

            Newland Communities, which has already contributed more than $600,000 to HomeAid America and its chapters across the country, is raising money for the cottage through charitable events at Teravista and Falcon Pointe. Ryland Homes builds in both communities.
            On May 3, the project will be featured at the monthly Teravista Music Series concert. For every home sold at Falcon Pointe and Teravista from May 15 through June 15, Newland Communities and Ryland Homes will donate $500 toward the HomeAid Family Cottage project.

Central Texas Drought Threatening Species of Fish

           Because of the drought, the authority has curtailed releases for downstream agricultural customers, but the state-approved plan requires the river authority to maintain flow in the Bastrop and Columbus areas of 500 cubic feet per second. Without the releases, water at those spots would be about 140 cubic feet per second, said Karen Bondy, executive manager of water resources at LCRA. In April 2012, the LCRA released 22,991 acre-feet of water from lakes Travis and Buchanan, the chief reservoirs for Central Texas, for the well-being of the blue sucker. Since April 11 this year, the river authority has released 4,350 acre-feet of water for the blue sucker.
           The announcement of the planned release comes weeks after a federal judge in Corpus Christi found that the state


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