Bethany Beach’s 1st Day of Spring can Trigger Beneficial Activity
Wednesday is the First Day of Spring—which provides an excellent impetus to dig in and do something that only seems like a tedious chore. In actuality, it can be a sure way to treat yourself and the whole family.
That “something” is decluttering your house!
Why is this a “treat” rather than a tedious way to spend a morning? For one thing, it’s the relief you’ll feel only a short time after you get started. The stuff you get rid of has been lurking in more than the drawers, closet floors, and cupboards. The space it occupies isn’t just in your house—it also has a foothold in a corner of your mind, taking up valuable consciousness space.
If you don’t believe it, just grab a cardboard carton and go through the kitchen drawer (the one where all the pencil stubs, old rubber bands, and twist-ties are mixed in with the expired coupons)—and ruthlessly scrap the stuff you’ll never ever use again. Once you seal up the carton and put it out where the trash goes, check your demeanor. Chances are it will feel as if a weight has been lifted, as surely as if you’d just mailed a parking ticket payment before the deadline.
It seems to be a universal human condition, putting off decluttering. It doesn’t make sense since getting rid of useless stuff always feels good, but there it is.
One practical tip for how to get started is described by the ICD (Institute for Challenging Disorganization)—a very serious group of productivity specialists and professional organizers. They recommend writing down your own list describing degrees of usefulness. An example of such a “clutter scale” might be:
1 Items I’ll never use
2 Items I almost never use
3 Items I haven’t used in the past 6 months
4 Items I don’t often use, but which are difficult to replace
5 Items I use every week (or simply love)
With your rating system at hand, you’ll find it much easier to toss 1- and 2-ranked items, and (especially on Wednesday, the first day of Spring) you might even be energized enough to trash most of the 3s!
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Could Lewes Homeowner Improvements Hinder Resale?
If Lewes homeowners search the web for anything like “surprising things that decrease your home’s value,” they will be answered with literally millions of links. Some of the “surprises” are anything but. "An Outdated Bathroom,” for instance, is hardly surprising. Likewise, “Brightly-Colored Kitchen Cabinets” (especially if it’s accompanied by a picture of a blinding expanse of fire-engine red cupboards)—or any other similarly daring design statement that has the effect of limiting the prospective buyer pool.
But Lewes homeowners could find a selection of more thought-provoking answers in a recent Sunset magazine spread. The leading “thing that decreases your home value” were these:
· An Expensive Kitchen Remodel. How could this actually decrease any Lewes homeowner’s property? The answer (Sunset admitted it was counterintuitive) was apt: because the owner, even if only fractionally raising their property’s asking price, would run the risk of overpricing the local market—and losing prospective buyers to neighbors who chose to let their new buyers decide if and when to undertake the kitchen remodel. Sunset’s prudent recommendation was to see if “a few small changes”—like removing cabinet fronts, swapping out the faucet, or replacing hardware—might suffice.
· Sacrificing a Bedroom. Because the number of bedrooms and bathrooms are basic qualifiers when prospective buyers go house hunting, the idea of turning a spare bedroom into a gym or home office can be a prospect-limiter. These days, every Lewes buyer already knows that any bedroom can become a home office.
· Wallpaper. Hard to get right; easy to get wrong.
· Textured Walls & Ceilings. It’s really true: such design additions are too often design minuses for many buyers—and actually can be such a turnoff that they disqualify an otherwise leading candidate.
· High-Maintenance Exterior. Before adding extensive landscaping or a pool, Lewes homeowners should consider the possible buyer-dampening impact any high-maintenance feature might have. Sunset added “lots of trees” to that list, but I might differ there—especially if the homeowner plans to stay in Lewes long enough to see the saplings established (2-3 years for most species).
- Written by Jimmie Bachand
Is the Stolid New Home Industry Headed for a Shake-up?
When it comes to industries, you’d have to place Rehoboth Beach real estate into the “stolid” category. The rules are set and agreed-upon. Everything having to do with real estate is entirely “real”—the opposite of “imaginary.” Certainly not frivolous, fleeting, or mercurial.
Major changes don’t come about often or quickly. It is true that one facet of the way real estate business is conducted has undergone a noticeable change due to the web. But that is actually only a shift in how clients find and qualify properties they might be interested in. They still overwhelmingly rely on real estate professionals to take responsibility for the consequential details of buying and selling.
A new technology suddenly presents the possibility of making a substantial difference when it comes to new homes—one that might come to pass pretty quickly. It promises to shave as much as 30% off the total cost of constructing new Rehoboth Beach homes. If and when that gets real, it’s hard not to envision widespread repercussions .
The technology involved is 3-D printing—up until now, a technology that has been confined to a ‘gee whiz’ futuristic corner of the residential construction industry. But if Texas startup Icon, Inc. is to be believed, by the end of this year, it will be producing printers that can create up to 2,000 square foot bungalows in a matter of days. That’s 80% of today’s average-size home.
Their Vulcan II is a machine that can print concrete walls as wide as 28 feet and 8 ½ feet high—in any number of patterns. An automatic mixer pumps concrete into the printer, which pours it into place (actually, it squeezes it out “like icing on a cake”). Following the programmed blueprint, it leaves precise voids for electrical wiring, plumbing, windows, and doors, all of which are conventionally installed. Material wastage is all but eliminated. Today as much as a third of conventional materials typically end up in the trash.
This might seem more sci-fi than reality, but the photos of the printer in action that accompanied the Wall Street Journal’s writeup make that unlikely. To be sure, technical barriers will have to be overcome before we’re likely to see 3-D printed new homes in Rehoboth Beach—but the effect of a substantial reverse in the skyrocketing costs of new construction could well make affordable housing more than a political rallying cry. HUD secretary Ben Carson calls it “a game changer.”
- Written by Jimmie Bachand