Real Estate Information Archive


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Shoe Organizational Solutions

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

We get it – we’re obsessed with shoes, too. They come in all different colors, styles, heights (for some of us!) and, best of all, they always fit. But if you’re facing a closet or entryway jam packed with all of your pairs, then it’s time to admit that something needs to be done. Enough with missing a mate and digging in dark corners for your fave flip flops, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best and most functional ways to organize your shoes.

 Shoe Cabinet: We love that this cabinet frees us from having to dig around in our closet. Snag a similar four compartment cabinet from Ikea’s Hemnes collection for $100. (via Live Simply)


12-Pair Shoe Organizer ($40): Of course the Container Store would display the most beautifully organized closet on the planet. But with these shoe cubbies, yours can look just like it.


DIY Shoe Pegs. Get simple, step-by-step instructions {here}.


Garage/entryway shelves.


Skip the DIY with this simple Rubbermaid Storage Container option.


Wall storage bin.


Go big or go home with a mudroom like this one!


Wooden Shoe Cubbie.


PVC shoe storage.


Hanging Wooden Crates.


Man Cave Madness

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

**We first published this post a year ago, but with March Madness upon us, we figured now was a great time to re-visit the topic of MAN CAVES!**

Today’s real estate market has brought with it some often hard-to-find house hunter requests -- theatre rooms, scrapbooking spaces, and master bedroom laundry rooms -- just to name a few!  However, perhaps one of our favorites is the coveted MAN CAVE!  Not really a cave at all, this masculine metaphor is one of the most popular requests to top the list of “must-haves” on a man’s list.


So, what is a man cave?


man cave

noun Informal.


: a room or space (as in a basement) designed according to the taste of the man of the house to be used as his personal area for hobbies and leisure activities.


For many (if not the majority!) of our male clients, a Man Cave is not just a space where they can watch endless hours of sports on an outrageously large television, it is a place where they can be free of female decorating influences!  And just because you’re not in the market for a new home (& especially if you are!), doesn’t mean that you can’t make your own man cave.  That’s right!  All you need is a room (think: basement, garage, attic, spare bedroom, media room, or den) and a few essentials!


Below you will find a list of our favorite Man Cave essentials to get you started on a room sure to make every man envious!


1. Television.  Every functional Man Cave should, without a doubt, have a well-functioning TV.  Bigger is NOT always better, however.  Buy what your budget and space allow.  And if we might offer one more piece of advice?  Ensure that your tube is high-definition AND that your cable/dish provider offers the channels important to you!




2. Funny signs.  Humorous or not, signs can add character to your space.  Decorate with items that show-off your interests and personality!






3. Refrigerator. Bonus points if you keep it stocked!





4. Snack area. Again, a fully stocked snack section scores major points with friends.  And remember that something as simple as a snack table can also be multifunctional, finding uses for meals, poker, and other games.


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5. Plenty of {comfy} seating.  Word of advice: don’t skimp on the seating.  Work within your budget (& space), but we encourage sofas, chairs, bar stools, and a place to put up your feet.






6. Sports memorabilia and/or movie posters.  This is a great way to decorate your room and it doesn’t have to be pricey!  Use what you have or score some free posters from your local high school or college teams.  Movie posters are also relatively inexpensive way to add a little life to those otherwise boring walls!


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All joking aside, your newly created Man Cave might serve as a fun space to hang out, but it can certainly also add to the value of your home.  Curious about the value of your home -- Man Cave and all?  Call us today to have an analysis of your home’s value emailed to you directly!


Ways to Turn Off Potential Buyers

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

As real estate markets everywhere are on the upswing and buyers are out in full force! Many of today’s buyers make judgments about homes within just minutes of seeing a listing online or in person. They are also more cautious than ever before. Buyers want to make sure they’re buying the best house and for the best amount of money. And, for sellers? That means giving buyers what they want. If you’re planning to put your house on the market anytime soon, here are our TOP TEN WAYS TO TURN OFF POTENTIAL BUYERS.




Turn off potential homebuyers almost immediately by leaving your home dirty. Filthy floors, kitchen counters, bathrooms, and carpets should be spick-and-span! Do yourself a favor and go the extra mile when it comes to cleaning...from steam-cleaning tile and grout to replacing carpets. No one wants to have to look past the dirt to see themselves living in your home.




Buyers, it's said, buy with their noses. Make sure your home smells fresh and inviting. We wrote an entire post about “The Stinky Side of Real Estate” just last year and from that list, we encourage you to remember that: house odors are number one on the home selling uh-oh list. And narrowing it down, odors from cigarette smoke and pets take top billing, with mildew not far behind. Wow prospective buyers with fresh, clean scents and positive, fond memories of your home after they leave, rather than nose plug-worthy nastiness and feelings of disgust. Click {here} to read about 3 GREAT ways to ensure that your home will pass the smell test!



Today's buyer doesn't want wallpaper, no matter how much your grandma liked it. Wallpaper is a pain to remove and simply adds another chore to a buyer's to-do list.


Outdated Fixtures

Buyers are not impressed by tarnished doorknobs, disco-era light fixtures and ancient ceiling fans. The same holds true for dated ceiling fans, light fixtures and kitchen appliances. If you want your home to show well, take the time to replace/fix these things. A little leg-work/effort on your end will almost always pay off when it comes to how your home shows.



Again, this is a topic we found worthy of it’s very own blog post. Click {here} to read our top tips for Curing The Clutter! Basically, it’s important to remember: Shopping for a home is like shopping for clothes. Buyers are trying on your home to see how it fits, as if it were a pair of shoes. If personal items clutter your home, it's like the buyer is trying on those shoes while you're standing in them. A fit is unlikely. {}

Obviously, a lot of us live with clutter on a daily basis. We can get so accustomed to it that we tend to not even notice the extent to which the clutter has taken over a room or home. But homebuyers notice. Whether inside or out, less is more when it comes to clutter.


Poor Curb Appeal

Seeing a house for the first time is like meeting a person for the first time: Appearance counts. That first-glance impression of a house is called curb appeal and a positive first impression doesn’t have to be difficult. Check out our ideas for Creating Curb Appeal on a Budget!


Bad Lighting


Dark homes are a turnoff to most home buyers! Here are a few suggestions to brighten them up:

  • Replace dim light fixtures
  • Install additional light fixtures
  • Install (quality) sun tunnels or skylights
  • Remove heavy drapes to let the light stream through windows
  • Repaint some rooms with colors that reflect light
  • Trim tree limbs that shadow the house

Dirty and fogged windows are another buyer turnoff. Clean them inside and out to bring in more light. If possible, replace any double-pane windows with broken seals. You can find them by looking for a foggy residue that cannot be removed. {}



Let’s face it; family pets bring a lot of joy to the home. But, they don’t always bring the same joy to a prospective buyer. Dog’s toys, filled with saliva, dirt and dust can be a sore both for the eyes and the nose. If you have a pet, put a plan in place to move the food and water bowls as well as the toys and dog’s bed to a better location, like the garage. Homes that smell and show like animals can scare buyers off. {}


If possible, remove pets during showings. And, if you can’t? At the very least, contain them in crates for their own safety and to show respect to the potential buyers.




Roaches, spiders, or basically anything that will crawl or fly should NOT be in the house. Get rid of them.




Yes, you... leave the house during showings. Home buyers feel awkward about opening closet doors and lingering for a really good look at the house if the seller is home.


Part of the joy of owning a home is that you can do whatever you want with it, to it, and in it. You should enjoy that freedom. HOWEVER, if you want to sell it easily and for top dollar down the road, try to picture how others might react to any renovations, additions or modifications you make. The more specific you get — such as painting a Dr. Seuss mural on your cute kid’s bedroom wall — the harder it will be to sell your home later, and the less return on investment you’ll get. When considering changes to your home, always consider resale.


And, if you’re just not sure where to start when ready to sell or just want a second opinion (Does my house really smell THAT bad?!?), call us! We’ll give you our honest, educated best -- always!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3