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5 Holiday Splurges to Avoid


Here are my five major splurges you should avoid if you’re selling your home around the holidays.

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I want to give all you future sellers out there some tips for selling during the holiday season:

1. Don’t use decorations that could damage your home. Present your holiday spirit, but avoid holes in the walls, marks on the floor, and screws that mar the side of the house. If you have a live Christmas tree, be careful not to let any spilled water sit on hardwood or laminate floors. Water can warp and stain floors and it takes tons of money to be repaired. Also, don’t paint any walls vivid colors. Save the winter wonderland mural for next year. 

2. Don’t clutter your home with gifts. Don’t buy a ton of large gifts that will have to be hidden until after the new year. You don’t want your closets to appear to be bursting at the seams; it gives the impression that there’s not enough storage. Consider abstaining from the bulky gifts this year. Remember, you’re going to have to move all those items after you sell the home. You’ll thank yourself later. 

3. Don’t buy appliances or furniture unfit for your home. Don’t buy something that specifically fits your current home’s layout. For example, that elegant new couch may not fit correctly in your new home. Also, appliances often stay with the home.



Save the winter wonderland mural for next year.

4. Don’t take on much holiday debt. This is not the year to live out your “new car with a giant bow” fantasy. Taking on debt can harm your chances of getting approved for a mortgage when you buy your next home. A lender will take note, and it could work against you. If you’re in doubt, give us a call and we’ll let you know if it’s a splurge or if you can go ahead. 

5. Don’t get a new pet. The holidays are a common time for families to get a new pet. However, selling your home is not the right time to be house-training a puppy, for example. Showing a house with a pet is challenging enough, even when it’s not new. It makes much more sense to wait until after you move to get a dog, cat, capybara, and so on (...especially the capybara).

If you have any questions about holiday splurges or any other real estate topic, give us a call or send us an email. We would be glad to speak to you.

The Pie’s on Us This Thanksgiving


Make sure you reserve your free pie today. It’s our way of saying thanks for being a great client of ours.

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 Looking to sell in Alaska? Get a free Home Price Evaluation

For the second year in a row, we are excited to give out free Thanksgiving pies to all of our current and past clients. On Monday, November 25, and Tuesday, November 26, we’ll have the pies ready for your Thanksgiving dinner. To reserve your pie, simply call us at (907) 452-3000 or send an email to info@maddenrealestate.com. From our family to yours, Happy Thanksgiving! 

5 Tips for Creating a Home Renovation Budget


Here are five things to keep in mind if you’re planning to renovate your home.

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If you’re thinking of renovating a space in your home, here are five things to keep in mind that will help you establish a budget to accomplish your renovation goals:

1. Home renovation costs. As a general rule of thumb, the home renovation cost should be determined by the space in question’s percentage of the home’s value. For example, if you’re working on the kitchen and the kitchen is 10% to 15% of your home, then it should cost 10% to 15% of your home’s total value. Contact us here at Madden Real Estate; we’ll do a CMA to determine the value of your home so you can look at how much a particular renovation would cost. We can also help guide you through setting up a budget for that project.

2. Home remodeling loans. If you’re looking at a big expenditure for a particular remodel, a home remodeling loan is definitely an option you can pursue. For example, if you’re going to remodel a kitchen in a $200,000 home, you’re looking at about a $30,000 project. If you don’t have the cash on hand, it may be smart to meet with your lender or with us. We can help you refinance, get a home equity loan, or pursue another financing option.

3. Get a quote from a contractor. We never want you to get just one quote—get at least a few from different contractors and throw the lowest one out. You don’t want the lowest bid to do your home repairs because they may cut corners, potentially costing you money and time. The worst thing is having a contractor tell you that they’ll have a project done in 30 days, only for it to take four months. The more detailed the quotes are and the more time and effort they’ll put into your projects, the more value you’ll see from the finished product.



As a general rule of thumb, the home renovation cost should be determined by the space in question’s percentage of the home’s value.

4. Stick to your plan. As a remodeling project goes underway, many people like to add on little projects along the way. If you’re planning to remodel the kitchen, for example, stick to that project for now.

5. Hidden home renovation costs. These are why you should stick to your remodel plan—especially if you have an older home, you’ll likely find other things you want to tackle as a project progresses. These other projects will cost money, of course; if they’re necessary repairs, it’s smart to set aside an extra 10% to 20% to account for any unexpected repairs. You’ll be happier in the end if you do.

If you have any questions about home renovations or about finding reliable, quality contractors to help you with your projects, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’d love to help you.