Mike O'Keefe | Newbury Real Estate, Newburyport Real Estate, Salisbury Real Estate


There’s no doubt that we all have our preferred colors, whether it’s for our cars, our clothing, or our homes. However, there are colors that are favored over others--colors that work well in any environment.

When it comes to painting the inside and outside of your home, good colors decisions can make your home appeal to more buyers and get you higher offers.

In today’s post, we’re going to talk about which colors are ideal for your home if you’re hoping to increase its purchase value.

General rules for choosing paint colors

While there are specific colors and techniques for each room of a home, there are also general rules that apply to painting in general.

First, note that it is pleasing to the eye if a room transitions from dark to light vertically--the floor being the darkest, the wall color in the middle, and the ceiling the brightest. While we can’t say with certainty why that is, a good guess would be because that’s house things usually appear in nature, with the sky being the brightest thing in your line of sight.

Next, understand that painting with darker colors and matte finishes may make a room appear darker and smaller. Glossy or semi-gloss paint with bright colors will reflect more light and make a room look and feel more spacious.

You may have noticed some homes tend to have a continuity to them that is hard to explain. There’s a good chance this is because of the colors used. Having a color palette for your home that uses different shades of a color is a good way to tie the whole home together

Finally, while there are many colors that will work in various rooms of the home, blue happens to be the most preferred color to new buyers. It’s a safe bet that a light blue will work well if you’re at a loss for what color to paint a room.

Next, let’s take a look at each part of your home to find the best colors to use.

  • Exterior. Choosing exterior colors, such as your siding, doors, and trim can be a difficult decision for most homeowners. It’s a good idea to stick with colors associate with the architectural style of your home. Also, be sure to take note of the colors in your neighborhood--you don’t match your neighbors completely, but you don’t want to stand out too much either. A good way to differentiate your home is to use a bold accent color on your front door or shutters.

  • Kitchen. The kitchen should be a warm and welcoming place. Colors like white, gray, and light red all work well in the kitchen. Choose a color that doesn’t overshadow your appliances and cabinets--let those be the bold colors of the room.

  • Bedrooms. Bedrooms, especially children’s rooms, are a place where you have more room to experiment with fun colors. Nearly any color can work in a bedroom, even darker colors, if complemented by light-colored decorations and furnishings. If your master bedroom has a bathroom connected to it, try using the same or a color that will complement the bedroom.

  • Home office. Offices are surprisingly versatile. Many different styles work for different people and their vocations and hobbies. If your home office has a classic look--wooden desk, gold lamps, etc.--a brown or tan color will work well. However, if the office is more modern and creative, a white, gray, or bold green or blue are fitting.

  • Bathroom. For the main bathroom, use a bright color as bathrooms tend to be one of the smaller rooms in a home. Bright colors are also easier to work in the mirror by to improve lighting.


Everyone is looking for something different when it comes to finding the ideal home. While some people prioritize architectural styles and curb appeal, other house hunters place the most value on the quality of the school district and proximity to jobs.

Neighborhood quality is also a significant factor in house-buying decisions. What exactly does "neighborhood quality" mean, though? Although definitions may vary, the characteristics that are typically considered to be desirable include a low crime rate, relatively light street traffic, a minimal amount of "noise pollution," and neighborhoods in which houses and properties are consistently well cared for and in good condition.

If peace, quiet, and tranquility are high on your list of house-buying requirements, here are a few other items you might consider adding to your "wish list."

Space between neighbors: While it's generally a good thing to get to know your neighbors on a first-name basis, you don't necessarily want to get to know them too well -- or vise versa! In other words, it's nice when you can sit out on your back porch without having to be too concerned about being overheard or needing to edit your conversations. If privacy is a top priority for you, then you might want to limit your search to properties that provide a comfortable buffer zone between houses.

Greenery and privacy hedges: A residential street with green, well-tended lawns and mature, leafy trees is not only visually appealing, but it's also a sign that people take pride in their property and care about the neighborhood. Homes for sale that offer a "park-like setting" on a nice street can be the ideal environment for creating a private, backyard refuge.

Fireplaces: Even if a fireplace is not on your "must have" list, it's a relatively inexpensive luxury to have and enjoy during the holidays and when the temperature drops. Regardless of the climate in which you live, there are going to be plenty of wet, cloudy, or snowy days during the winter months. When the weather turns chilly, there's nothing like a crackling fire in the fireplace to infuse your home with a cozy, relaxing atmosphere!

Large windows: Large bay windows, picture windows, and floor-to-ceiling windows not only let in a lot of natural light, but they also help you enjoy views of your neighborhood and backyard. That combination of sunshine, green foliage, a well-landscaped property, and the smell of freshly cut grass can set the tone for a relaxing home environment -- both indoors and out! Along those same lines, a sunroom can also be a highly desirable feature in a new home you're considering buying.

Although there are a ton of things you can do to enhance the beauty and relaxation value of your next home, the starting point is to find a peaceful neighborhood and a spacious, nicely landscaped property on which to add your own personal touches.


Many behavior problems in a dog are as a result of boredom and excessive energy, which is justifiable because this animal is supposed to be physically active. Some owners breed domestic dogs for specific purposes like protection, farming, hunting, etc. On the other hand, wild dogs are more active because they only hunt and scavenge for food.

Whether dogs are helping us at home or hunting for their food, we should be aware of the fact that physical exercise keeps their brains and bodies active. Therefore, a practical way to enrich the life of your dog is engaging them in physical and mental practices. In addition to that, your dog benefits a lot when you spend quality time together. Here are some fun activities that will keep your dog active mentally and physically:

Get moving 

You should never disregard the significance of taking a good walk or jog with your dog. Walking and jogging are beneficial to your dog in that it gives him or her the privilege to explore the world. To ensure your dog benefits a lot from this, take different routes when jogging and visit new places as much as possible. 

Games to play

Games are an opportunity to enhance the relationship between you and your dog. However, it is essential to play games that will be enjoyable and safe for both of you. An example of some games that will exercise your dog's body as well as the dog's ability to chase, search, and grab are:

  • Tug-of-war. The tug-of-war is a game that you can use to engage your dog in a rewarding physical activity while at the same time teaching the dog some vital lessons. This game will allow you to train your dog on how to listen to you when it is excited and so on.
  • Fetch. Teaching your dog how to fetch is also a significant advantage. Your dog needs to exert a lot of physical effort to carry out this game. It can be used to teach your dog how to pick and drop things at a particular location. It's also a perfect way to train your dog on how to find hidden items.

Your dog is a special member of your family; so it’s imperative you’re mindful of his or her physical state. The weekend is almost here, take your dog to the nearby park for a stroll or fun game of fetch.


A home showing represents a valuable opportunity for a property buyer. However, there may be instances in which a buyer is unsure about whether to attend a house showing. Lucky for you, we're here to help you weigh the pros and cons of scheduling a home showing.

Now, let's take a look at three questions to consider before you attend a house showing.

1. Is a home the right size for me?

Take a look at a home listing and find out the square footage and number of rooms in a house. That way, you'll be able to determine whether a house is the right size for you without setting foot inside the residence itself.

Of course, you should consider your immediate and long-term plans as you evaluate a home's size. If you plan to start a family soon, for example, you may want to search for a home that offers sufficient space for you, your spouse and your children. Or, if you intend to retire in the foreseeable future, you may want to pursue a small home that requires minimal maintenance.

2. Is a home located in one of my preferred cities and towns?

Think about where you want to reside. Oftentimes, it helps to make a list of preferred cities and towns and narrow your home search to these areas. And if you find a home you want to check out in one of these cities or towns, you then can schedule a property showing.

In addition, it is important to remember that a big city home may prove to be more expensive than a comparable residence in a small town. If you decide to pursue a house in a big city, you may face increased competition for city homes in comparison to small town residences too.

3. Could a home be my dream residence?

Ultimately, if there is even a small chance that a home could be your dream residence, it may be beneficial to set up a showing. If you attend a showing and find a residence is your ideal house, you can submit an offer to purchase this home. On the other hand, if you attend a showing and find a residence falls short of your expectations, you can simply continue your pursuit of your dream house.

As you conduct your search for your ideal residence, it generally is a good idea to hire a real estate agent. This housing market professional will set up home showings, keep you informed about new residences that become available in your preferred cities and towns and much more. Plus, if you ever have concerns or questions during the homebuying journey, a real estate agent is ready to respond to them.

Consider the aforementioned questions before you schedule a home showing – you will be glad you did. And if you decide to attend a house showing, you will be better equipped than ever before to determine whether a particular home is right for you.


If you use a teapot, you know that over time, as the water heats and cools, calcium and other deposits from the water build up on the bottom of the kettle and need cleaning out periodically. The same is true of your water heater. Both city water and well water can contain suspended minerals and chemicals like calcium and magnesium. Unless you filter the water through reverse osmosis before it reaches your hot water tank, those chemicals build up inside and leave a heavy crust at the bottom. Even a small amount of sediment reduces your water heater’s effectiveness and ability to keep a stable temperature in your tank.

To ensure that your water heater gives you lovely warm temperatures for years to come, clean out the sediment at least once each year, and more often if your water has heavy hard-water sediment. 

How to drain and clean your water tank

  • Turn off the power supply. If your appliance is electric, just turn off the electricity, but if your appliance is gas, you’ll need to turn off both electricity and gas.
  • Turn off the cold water supply from before where it enters the water tank. If your inlet has a valve, turn it off there, but, in many cases, this means turning it off at the street.
  • Turn on the hot water tap in the nearest sink or tub. This gives a second access point allowing air to flow into the tank as you drain it.
  • Attach a garden hose firmly to the drain spigot and run the end into a bucket or tub if the appliance is in the basement or cellar, or outside into the garden if on the main floor. If your water heater is in the attic, you can run the hose out onto the roof to drain into the gutters provided they don’t have screens on them.
  • Remember that you may have to empty a 5-gallon bucket several times.
  • Carefully turn on the spigot and check your attachment for leaks.
  • Once all the water is drained, open and close the cold-water valve several times to force fresh water through the bottom of the tank to clean out the last of the sediment. Take care as you reopen the valve because the water will run out quickly and surprise you.
  • Finally, when the water runs clear, close the cold-water inlet and the water heater’s drain valve and remove the hose.
  • Open the cold-water valve and allow the tank to fill. Open the hot-water faucets on all sinks and tubs to remove air from the lines.
  • When the faucets stop sputtering air, close them all and restore power. NOTE: do not restore power until the tank is full. Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to light the pilot. If you’re not sure how to light it, contact your gas company for assistance.

Keeping your water heater in tip-top shape ensure its longevity and reduces maintenance costs. If you’re uncertain about completing this task yourself, ask your real estate professional to refer you to plumbing professionals.




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