Date Archives: August 2019

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7 Important Home Repairs to Do Right After Moving Out

Congratulations: You're moving out, and on to your next home! Now all you have to do is pack up your things and skedaddle, right?

Not so fast. If you're still trying to sell your current home, you'll want to make sure it looks its best, which means you might have to make a few repairs. And there's no better time to do this than after you've removed all your boxes and furnishings, since this means you've got plenty of space to get the job done right (and with minimal mess).

Granted, you might have already made some upgrades during the early stages of sales prep ... but moving out means you could uncover a whole lot more. And trust us, buyers will notice!

Of course, if you've already sold your home, you're off the hook ... but if not, it will behoove you to do these seven upgrades after moving out. Don't worry, they're fairly easy, and they'll make a big difference helping you find a buyer who'll pay top dollar.

1. Patch holes in walls

Seeing walls with holes—even small holes left by nails—is an immediate turnoff to home buyers, says Sarah Fishburne, director of trend and design at The Home Depot. But you don't have to repaint your entire house to have your home looking fresh again. A little spackling, followed by spot painting—a cinch if you've kept some original paint—will do the trick. (If you don't have any leftover paint, peel a dollar-size piece from the wall and bring it to the paint store so they can match the color for you.)

2. Add a fresh coat of paint to rooms that are outdated or painted in loud colors

Love that plum paint color you chose for your master bedroom? Home buyers might not! The good news is, painting a room is an easy, low-cost project you can do yourself. Selecting the right hue, though, is crucial.

"Neutral colors are generally the safest choice, as they blend with many different decor styles," says Hunter MacfarlaneLowe's project expert. "Gray is a popular color to paint a room before selling, as it gives the walls depth while still tying furniture and other decor items together."

Moreover, "a fresh coat of paint never hurt resale value," Fishburne says.

3. Replace old outlet wall plates

This is another quick and budget-friendly way to make a space feel cleaner and updated, Macfarlane says. Proceed with caution, however: Old wall plates can be a fire hazard if they're cracked or damaged in any way. If you suspect there's an issue, hire an electrician to replace the wall plates for you.

4. Clean carpeting

Dirty and dingy carpets are huge eyesores, which is why David Pekel, chief executive officer at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, recommends that homeowners give their house's carpeting a good cleaning after moving out. You can amp up your vacuum with rug-cleaning products such as powders, foam sprays, and liquid shampoos available at grocery and hardware stores. For stained areas, use a bristled brush to work the cleaning solution into the carpet before allowing it to dry and then vacuuming up.

To remove embedded dirt, you may need to use a powerful industrial-style carpet-cleaning machine, like a Rug Doctor, which sprays hot water with a detergent over the carpet and extracts it with a high-powered vacuum. Industrial carpet cleaners have more washing and sucking power than most consumer carpet cleaners, but they're expensive to buy—about $400 to $700—so it's more economical to rent one from a hardware store for about $25 to $30 per day.

5. Clean hardwood floors

Many home buyers swoon over hardwood floors. So if you have them, make sure they're glistening after you move out.

"Wood is probably the easiest floor covering to keep clean, but you have to use the right cleaning products," says Brett Miller, vice president of education and certification for the National Wood Flooring Association in St. Louis.

Most wood floor installers or manufacturers recommend cleaners that contain isopropyl alcohol, which dries quickly, and are available at home supply stores. To make your own solution, simply add a capful of white vinegar to a gallon of water, which will help dissolve grease and grime on the floor but won't strip the finish. To remove shoe scuffs, rub marks with a tennis ball, which cleans without scratching the finish.

Under no circumstances should you use a steam mop, Miller warns.

"Steam is horrible for wood floors. It opens the pores in woods and damages the finish, causing irreversible damage to any wood floor," he says. Here's more on how to clean hardwood floors.

6. Replace or refresh old hardware

Swapping out old cabinet and door hardware is a simple, low-cost project you can tackle in a day that will make your home more visually appealing. All you need is a screwdriver and a free afternoon. Want to save some money? Keep your existing hardware and give it a makeover with spray paint—a few light coats can breathe new life and personality into rusty old knobs and pulls.

7. Improve the look and functionality of your master bathroom

full bathroom remodel is expensive; on average, it costs $10,344, according to HomeAdvisor. Just a few changes to your master bathroom, though, can make it one of the most stylish rooms in your house.

Simple touch-ups, like regrouting and recaulking bathroom tile, will make the room look newer. In addition, swapping out inefficient toilets, faucets, and shower heads for products that aid in water conservation can add real appeal to prospective home buyers who are looking to lower their water footprint (and lower their water bill!). A low-flow toilet, for example, uses 20% less water than a standard toilet, and water-saving shower heads can help families save almost 3,000 gallons of water a year.

SOURCE: REALTOR.COM/BLOG - Article written by:  | Aug 28, 2019


DIY for Newbies: 5 Kitchen Remodel Projects Anyone Can Master Like a Pro

Ah, a kitchen remodel. It might be the most popular renovation to tackle, but it can also be a serious source of anguish for any homeowner on a budget (and who isn't?). Especially when you consider that even a minorkitchen upgrade has an average price tag of $22,507.

Maybe you don't have that kind of coin. Or maybe you want to experience the satisfaction of fixing up your kitchen through your own hard work. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for renovation beginners to make their mark on the kitchen without requiring tons of time, money, or special skills.

If you're new to the renovation game, start with one of these low-risk, high-impact kitchen projects that are perfect for beginners.

1. Change out your cabinet hardware

Updated hardware can create a fresh look.
Updated hardware can create a fresh look.                                                   ozgurkeser/iStock

No experience or power tools required: Updating your hardware is the quintessential kitchen project for newbies.

"For beginners, changing out cabinet hardware such as new pulls or knobs can update the look and be as simple as using a screwdriver," says John Milligan, product development manager for N-Hance Wood Refinishing.

Before you buy new knobs and pulls, make sure the new hardware fits in the cabinets' existing holes, so you don't need to drill new ones or fill old ones, Milligan says.

Then, all you need is a screwdriver to remove your old hardware and secure your shiny new knobs and pulls. Easy!

2. Upgrade the lighting

Swap out your bulbs for LED lights
Swap out your bulbs for LED lights                                                   Kateryna Kukota/iStock

"A majority of kitchens are missing adequate lighting, especially when natural light is limited," says Dana Hummel, project manager at, a site that connects homeowners with renovation professionals.

Luckily, lighting up your kitchen is a beginner-friendly job. The easiest way to make an impact? Swap your old lightbulbs for new LED bulbs, which are more energy-efficient than incandescents and come in a variety of warm and cool hues.

You can also opt to install a new light fixture altogether for a more dramatic upgrade. Consider changing out your overhead lighting or your accent lighting over the kitchen sink or island. Most fixtures come with easy-to-follow instructions, Hummel says.

If you're happy with your current fixture but could use more lighting control, install a dimmer to make your kitchen brightness customizable. This task requires only an hour or two and a few basic hand tools. When you're ready to dive in, check out Home Depot's step-by-step guide to installing a dimmer switch.

3. Paint the room, but maybe skip the cabinets

It's true: A fresh coat of paint can transform any room—including your kitchen—and just about anyone can handle a simple paint job. To take things up a notch and add visual interest, paint a single bold accent wall, or paint another feature in the room, like the kitchen island.

"You can create a personalized look by painting your kitchen island a different color than the wall cabinets," says Ashley Banbury, senior color designer for Dutch Boy Paints. "Tie a room together by painting the island the same color as the floor and window trim, or make your island the focal point with a fun pop of color."

You may be tempted to paint all of your kitchen cabinets, but proceed with caution. This tricky project requires more skill and finesse than simply painting the walls, so it might not be the best choice for beginners.

"Hiring an expert to tackle your cabinet refinishing can be well worth the investment," Milligan says. "Cabinets experience a lot of wear and tear and need to be protected with high-quality and durable finishes."

4. Install a backsplash

Install backsplash
Install backsplash                                                                                      yunava1/iStock

For an eye-catching project that you can accomplish in a weekend, look no further than your kitchen backsplash.

The easiest way to update your backsplash is by installing peel-and-stick tiles that come in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. There's no grout, no mess, and no special tools required. When you're ready for a fresh look, you can easily swap out your peel-and-stick backsplash for something new.

But beginners shouldn't be afraid to tackle a traditional tile backsplash if they want something more permanent, Hummel says.

"These supplies are available at local home improvement stores, and with endless patterns to choose from, it gives us a chance to be creative," she says.

Mosaic tiles, which come in sheets with a set pattern, are a good choice for beginners; they're easier to work with than individual tiles. Before you get started, be sure to map out your design plan and gather your tools, including tile nippers and a trowel for applying the adhesive.

5. Add (or unearth) storage space

Ready to graduate from hand tools to the power drill? Try installing simple shelves in the kitchen. For inspiration, look to blogs that abound with tutorials and step-by-step guides for creating your own open shelving in just a few hours. This DIY project can help you add kitchen storage or create the perfect space to show off unique decor.

If you're uneasy around power tools, we get it. There are still plenty of ways to unearth storage space in your kitchen without using a drill. For starters, set aside time for deep-cleaning and decluttering your drawers and cabinets. You'll be amazed by how much you can give away or throw out (do you really need four ice cream scoopers?), which will free up space that you can max out with drawer organizers, plate racks, and other simple storage solutions.

Keep your kitchen remodel simple—and consistent

It's easy—too easy, sometimes—to create a laundry list of everything you want to change in your kitchen. But don't try to accomplish everything at once.

"The best way to start a kitchen renovation is to start simple," says Carly Waters, principal designer and founder of Carly Waters Style. "Have a plan ... create a list of things needed for the update, and make sure the styles all align."

Once you get going, don't lose sight of the overall look and feel you're striving for in the kitchen.

"One of the most common mistakes I see is when the selection of finishes are picked at different times of a room update and don't quite match," Banbury says. "Go into updates with an end design aesthetic in mind."

SOURCE: REALTOR.COM/BLOG - Article written b | Aug 28, 2019


Labor Day Events Around Manatee & Sarasota Counties

Manatee & Sarasota County Labor Day Weekend Events
Scheduling your plans for Labor Day weekend along Florida's Gulf Coast? Our communities throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties are jam-packed with weekend activities and celebrations. Whether you're a long-time resident, newcomer, or visitor, our REALTORS® are here with favorite Labor Day events sure to pique the interest of every member of your family.

  1. Sarasota Architectural Salvage, 1093 Central Ave., Sarasota, FL 34236
    Buying one of our Sarasota homes for sale is the perfect reason to go treasure hunting for unique décor at Sarasota Architectural Salvage during their Labor Day Sale.  Get great items for your new home and save money while you're attending their weekend sale. FREE beer and/or soda all weekend, Register for drawings and specials online.  This event will be taking place Labor Day Weekend. 

  2. Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament — Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch, 5895 Post Blvd., Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211
    Take advantage of the long Labor Day weekend with an exciting soccer tournament. The 2019 Tampa Bay Labor Day Tournament will take place at Premier Sports Campus just around the corner from Lakewood Ranch homes for sale. One of the best in the state, this tournament brings teams from far and wide to compete in front of their families and friends in this fun annual event!

  3. 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic 5K & 1K — 2900 51st St. W., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Spend your Labor Day having fun in Manatee County's oldest running tradition. The 27th Annual Canes Cross Country Classic takes place just up the road from Bradenton homes for sale and challenges runners of all ages to get out and get active. There is a 1K family fun run/walk, as well as two 5Ks for under and above 18 aged runners. Come out and start your Labor Day with an exhilarating morning run!

  4. Labor Day Scramble — Lake Venice Golf Club, 1801 Harbor Dr. S., Venice, FL 34285
    Ready to get one last round of golf in before the summer ends? Head over to the Lake Venice Golf Club around the corner from Venice homes for sale and participate in their Labor Day Scramble. Beginning at 8:00 AM on Labor Day, a $25 entrance fee gets you 18 holes, a cart, food and more. Play against your friends and potentially walk away with some amazing prizes!  

  5. 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Parade & Festival — Dearborn Street Plaza, 300 W. Dearborn St., Englewood, FL 34223
    Every year, one of the longest and best Labor Day celebrations occurs right down the road from Englewood homes for sale. The 63rd Annual Englewood Pioneer Days Festival has activities from August 17th through Labor Day. On Labor Day itself, there will be a morning parade on Dearborn Street followed by a festival and car show at Pioneer Park that you don't want to miss!
  6. 2019 Summer of Rum Festival - Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park, 1001 N Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33606
    Take a little road trip from Bradenton up to DowntownTampa this Labor Day weekend for The Summer of Rum Festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019, from noon to 11:00 P.M. Try out a variety of cocktails from Pina Coladas, rum runners, Cuba Libres, frozen daiquiris and more. The Caribbean Food Market will showcase a variety of local vendors. Try out 40+ rums during the Island Tasting Party, and the celebration ends with an amazing fireworks show.

Are you ready to buy a home in Sarasota or Manatee County before? Contact us today and our team will help you find the home of your dreams!


Volunteer Opportunities in Sarasota-Manatee

Sarasota Manatee Volunteer Opportunities

Since 1939 Wagner Realty has been a leader in our communities, committed to giving back and making a difference in the place we all call "home." Our team is deeply involved in contributing to the well-being of the region on a civic, social and professional level. Our agents and brokers serve on local non-profit boards, organize fundraisers, and volunteer for numerous and varied charities – always looking for ways to support the community through donations of time and money. We celebrate the true meaning of community.

Volunteering is a great way to get involved in the community - it's also one of the best ways to meet like-minded people. Not sure where to start? No problem! Our REALTORS® are familiar with many of the area's charitable organizations. We're involved in too many to list, but here are a few volunteer opportunities for you to explore. If you're interested in finding out more about the hundreds of local charities, a great resource is The Giving Partner website. The Giving Partner reflects many nonprofits in our community that have made a commitment to transparency by sharing in-depth information about their community impact, leadership, and financial history.  The Community Foundation of Sarasota County verifies much of the information provided; each nonprofit is required to maintain an updated profile in order to be eligible for funding and other opportunities.

  1. Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center: 1750 17th Street, Building J-One, Sarasota, FL 34234
    A compilation of over 20 nonprofit health and human services agencies, Glasser Schoenbaum Human Services Center offers a huge variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you prefer working with the elderly, children, parents, the homeless population, or those with medical needs, this organization can pair you up with the best organization to meet your goals. 

  2. The Women's Resource Center: 340 S. Tuttle Ave. Sarasota, FL 34237
    With locations in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice the Women's Resource Center has been empowering women since 1979. They do this by offering an array of services including employment counseling, financial education, legal support, and programs like yoga, meditation, and book clubs.

    To explore volunteer opportunities, complete their online application and let them know what skills and talents you have to offer. When you go to visit the center, make sure you keep an eye out for some of the great nearby Sarasota homes for sale.  
  1. The Center of Anna Maria Island: 407 Magnolia Ave., Anna Maria Island, FL 34216
    Potential homebuyers are always asking us to show them Anna Maria homes for sale, and it's easy to see why. This quaint island town is perfect for those who want to kick back, relax, and enjoy living in a place where so many others come to vacation.

    The Center of Anna Maria Island is a cornerstone of this wonderful community. They offer fitness and education classes, sports, and youth and senior activities. They also put on many community events throughout the year. Check out their volunteer application to learn more about the opportunities available. 
  1. The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch: 26920 Gopher Hill Road, Myakka City, Florida 34251
    If cuddles from furry friends are more your style, consider donating some time to help out The Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch. This no-kill, not-for-profit rescue organization is dedicated to advocating for the welfare of the area's homeless and needy pets. If you've been thinking about moving into one of the great Lakewood Ranch homes for sale, this is an excellent way to give back to your community.

    This Humane Society is run by volunteers, and there are opportunities for you to help with dog and puppy care, cleaning, and administrative tasks. Complete their online application to get started.
  1. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast: 1000 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite C, Venice, FL 34285
    Do you want to make a major difference in the life of a child? Consider becoming a "big" for Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Suncoast. Whether you have the time to commit to working one-on-one with a child or you want to contribute in other ways, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved.

    There are BBBS organizations all around the area, so whether you're looking at Venice homes for sale or you end up settling somewhere else nearby, you're likely to find opportunities that are not too far away. 

Our REALTORS® love helping new buyers find the perfect home in their ideal neighborhood. Whether you want to be inches away from sandy beaches or have acres of sprawling land, there's a nearby home for sale that will give you exactly what you're looking for. Contact Wagner Realty to learn how we can help. 


Dog Parks in Manatee and Sarasota Counties

Manatee Sarasota Dog Parks

Take Your Pooch to These Parks Near You

Your precious pooch wants and needs regular exercise, but walks around the block can get old fast. Our real estate agents recommend some of our favorite dog parks in Sarasota and Manatee Counties to share quality time with your pet in the Florida sunshine.

  1. Brohard Paw Park - 1600 S. Harbor Dr., Venice, FL 34285
    You and Fido can both work on your tans at Brohard Paw Park, the only beach area in Sarasota County where dogs are permitted and within convenient distance of Venice homes for sale. There is an adjacent fenced-in dog play yard with picnic tables, benches, doggie waste bags, showers, and drinking fountains for pets and their humans. Just south of Paw Park is a beach for humans only, equipped with boardwalks, benches, and showers. Hours at Brohard Paw Park are 7 a.m. - dusk daily.

  2. Bayfront Park - 4052 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228
    The off-leash area at Bayfront Park, only minutes from Longboat Key homes for sale, is like a playground for dogs. Your pet will have a blast romping on and around structures such as ramps, teeter-totters, and even a "fire hydrant." The fenced-in park has a separate area for small or shy dogs. Bayfront Park is open daily except for Monday when the park is closed from 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.

  3. Lakeview Paw Park - 7150 Lago St., Sarasota, FL 34241
    Lakeview Paw Park gets high marks from users because of the plentiful trees that provide cooling shade on the grounds. Separate areas give small and large dogs their own spaces, and benches and picnic tables are available for humans. Adjacent Lakeview Park, close to Sarasota homes for sale, has scenic paths where leashed dogs are welcome. Park hours are 6 a.m. - sunset.

  4. Laurie Crawford Dog Park - 2811 - 51st St., Bradenton, FL 34209
    Happy Tails Canine Park opened in 2000 as Manatee County's first dog park, not far from Bradenton homes for sale. In April 2019, the facility was renamed Laurie Crawford Dog Park in honor of the local animal advocate who helped create the park. Upgrades include the addition of 1.25 acres of tree-shaded areas along with pavilions and benches, picnic tables, water fountains, waste bag dispensers, and trash cans. Hours at Laurie Crawford Dog Park are sunrise to sunset seven days a week. The new park area is closed for maintenance Monday from 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. is closed during the same hours on Thursday. 

  5. Dog Leg Canine Park - 7550 - 69th St. E., Palmetto, FL 34221
    The cleverly named Dog Leg Canine Park is a three-acre fenced-in area located at Buffalo Creek Park, just down the street from Palmetto homes for sale. Older, sensitive and small dogs have their own section away from the more rambunctious dogs. An on-site covered shelter offers welcome shade, and dogs stay hydrated at the water fountain. Free waste bags are provided. Dog Leg is open sunrise to sunset daily but closed for maintenance 7 a.m. - 10 a.m. Thursday and 2 p.m. to close the last Friday of each month.

  6. Holmes Beach Dog Park - 62nd St. and Flotilla Dr., Holmes Beach, FL 34217
    Holmes Beach Dog Park 
    is a popular attraction around Holmes Beach homes for sale. Relax on a shaded bench as you watch your dog socialize and make friends in the fully enclosed area. The community is fundraising to make upgrades to the park including landscaping for more shade, more secure fencing and gates, and even a potential park expansion.  Hours are sunrise to sunset daily.

Searching for the perfect home for your family, including the four-legged members? Contact us at Wagner Realty, your top choice for professional real estate services.


Fishing & Sailing Charters Around Sarasota

Sarasota Fishing and Sailing
When potential buyers begin searching for Sarasota homes for sale, they often ask about things to do here. Boating and fishing top the lists of our real estate agents for outdoor fun in Sarasota.

Choosing the right charter means the difference between an incredible experience you'll never forget, and a day that's just so-so. To help make sure you enjoy every minute of your trip, we've created the following list of our favorite local fishing and sailing charters. 

  1. Sarasota Fishing Charters -  2576 Hillview Street, Sarasota, FL 34239
    For a family-friendly fishing trip, Sarasota Fishing Charters with Captain Jack Hartman is a great choice. He welcomes all anglers from beginners to those with expert skills. The tours cover local area waters including Sarasota, Siesta Key, Lido Key, Longboat Key, and Anna Maria Island and are ideal for catching Taron, Redfish, Snook, and other Florida fish species. 

  2. Charter Fishing Sarasota - 1718 Cherry Lane, Sarasota, FL 34236 
    Sarasota Charter Fishing is also a family-friendly experience. You can choose from inshore charter fishing in Sarasota Bay, sport fishing, offshore fishing, or a custom deep-sea charter. Some of Captain Will's favorite fish to catch include Snapper, Grouper, Shark, Kingfish, Amberjack, and Barracuda. Charter guests also love the exceptionally smooth ride that the 23' Maco offers. 

  3. Key Sailing: 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, FL 34236 
    Book your adventure through Key Sailing and join Captain Tim and First Mate Jen on their 41' Morgan yacht. Whether you want to relax and enjoy the sunset, view local waterfront properties, or take the helm for a sailing lesson, Captain Tim and First Mate Jen are happy to accommodate you.  This Sarasota adventure is an excellent option for a couple's "date night," while families with children are encouraged to book one of their affordable private charters. 
  1. Captain Jack's Charters - 6174 Clark Center Ave. Sarasota, FL 34238 
    Captain Jack's Charters allows guests to experience the luxury of a 42-foot yacht. It's perfect for sunsets and sightseeing and available for weddings, birthdays, bachelor/bachelorette parties, and other special occasions. They'll arrange full catering with food and drinks, or you're welcome to bring your own. 

  2. Siesta Kation Sarasota Fishing Tours & Charters - 5587 Merrimac Dr. Sarasota, FL 34231
    For the ultimate well-rounded boating experience, look no further than Siesta Kation Sarasota Fishing Tours & ChartersSome of the services they offer include sightseeing, dolphin tours, diving, snorkeling, shelling, tiki bar tours, and sunset cruises. They also offer inshore, nearshore, and offshore fishing excursions. Choose the charter package that's right for you or have them create a completely custom package to suit your needs. 

  3. Inshore Addict Charters - 1059 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34236
    Captain Matt Davie of Inshore Addict Charters specializes in light tackle, inshore, and nearshore fishing. Both beginners and seasoned anglers are welcome on these charters. You can expect to catch local species like Snook, Trout, Tarpon, and Redfish. Sometimes, you'll also come across Sheephead, Cobia, Grouper, and more. 

Are you thinking about buying a home in the Sarasota area? Wagner Realty can help! Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started. 

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