Melvin Munk | Parkville Real Estate


Modern kitchen designs can make a huge difference when setting the value of your home. Even if you might not be planning to sell your home right away, your kitchen might deserve a timeless makeover so that it’s always ready for the market. Before you get started on the changes, you’ll need to come up with a plan. Some kitchen changes are easy, but others will take your cooking areas down for a while, so they’ll require more planning.

Choosing the Right Color

Look through any design magazine, and the first thing you'll notice is white. Due to its ability to reflect light, white can make small kitchens look more substantial, which is always a selling point. Don't think you're stuck with just one color either. There are dozens, if not hundreds of shades of white and you can mix them together to create a multi-dimensional look. It's also easy to match with your appliances since no matter what you're willing to spend, all appliances come in at least one shade of white.

Timeless Cabinets

No question, Shaker-style cabinets are the most timeless choice. From country cottages to modern lofts, the rail and stile look is a wide-ranging solution for any kitchen. Whether the doors are polished wood or painted, you can complete the style with your choice of knobs or handles. Available in a variety of qualities and finishes, you can get entirely new cabinets or just replace the doors on your existing ones to update the look at a lower cost. If you have custom cabinets with odd sizes, you'll either need to find a cabinet maker or if you're good at DIY projects you can try making them yourself.

Countertop Styles

Counters are the most used part of the kitchen. You probably already know to stay away from dated materials like Formica but watch out for current fad materials as well. For the longest lasting choices, go with marble, concrete or solid surface materials that mimic them. Butcher-block is also a timeless look, though it doesn’t last quite as long and can require more care. The least expensive choices are usually concrete and butcher-block but keep an eye out for deals on fancier materials like quartz.

Before you start updating your kitchen for a better home value, ask your real estate agent for a professional kitchen evaluation. They can help you choose which updates make the most sense for both your layout and your budget.



A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:

1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?

Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.

Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.

2. Are there any major issues with a home?

Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.

A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.

Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.

3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?

As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.

If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.

Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.



The homebuying process may prove to be challenging, particularly for individuals who fail to anticipate potential problems. Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify and address homebuying hurdles before they escalate.

Now, let's take a look at three tips to ensure you can seamlessly anticipate and overcome homebuying hurdles.

1. Learn About the Housing Market

The real estate market can be complex. Fortunately, an informed homebuyer should have no trouble resolving potential problems early in the property buying journey.

Examine a wide range of housing market data – you'll be glad you did. Look at the prices of recently sold houses – as well as the prices of available residences – in your preferred cities and towns. With this housing market information, you'll be better equipped than ever before to differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's one and plan your homebuying journey accordingly.

2. Get Home Financing

If you intend to pursue a house, you likely will need a mortgage. Thankfully, banks and credit unions are available to help you obtain a mortgage in no time at all.

Ultimately, it helps to get pre-approved for a mortgage. If you enter the housing market with a mortgage in hand, you can narrow your house search to properties that fall within your price range. And as a result, you could speed up the process of finding and buying your dream house.

When you meet with lenders, don't hesitate to ask lots of questions, either. If you allocate time and resources to learn about all of your home financing options, you can determine exactly which option is right for you.

3. Employ a Real Estate Agent

There is no need to pursue a house on your own, regardless of whether you're an experienced or first-time property buyer. But if you employ a real estate agent, you can work with a homebuying expert who can help you make your homeownership dream come true.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to find a great house at an affordable price. He or she can teach you about the housing market and help you make informed decisions at each stage of the property buying journey. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent can prepare you for potential homebuying hurdles and ensure you can quickly address these issues.

Let's not forget about the assistance that a real estate agent provides as the homebuying journey progresses as well. A real estate agent will set up home showings, help you weigh the pros and cons of different houses and ensure you can submit an offer to purchase your dream residence. And as you approach the date of your home closing, a real estate agent will offer tips and recommendations to ensure you can finalize your house purchase without delay.

Want to avoid homebuying hurdles? You're not alone. But with the aforementioned tips, you can identify and overcome various homebuying hurdles and effortlessly navigate the property buying journey.



Although you might already own a house, now may prove to be a good time to pursue a second residence. For example, if you have always wanted to own a home in the mountains, you can purchase a second residence to make your dream come true. On the other hand, if you want to own a vacation residence on or near the beach, you could enter the housing market to find a beachfront house that suits you perfectly.

Like any home search, finding a second house that matches your expectations may be difficult. Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to streamline your quest to find a second home, such as:

1. Evaluate Your Finances

Your finances will play a significant role in your ability to purchase any house, at any time. As you get set to pursue a second home, examine your finances closely. Then, you can map out your home search accordingly.

Generally, it helps to consult with banks and credit unions before you launch the search. If you meet with these institutions, you can gain financial insights that you can use to make an informed purchase.

2. Establish Home Buying Criteria

Think about the features you want to find in a second residence. Next, you can craft home buying criteria.

Once you have home buying criteria in hand, you can narrow your house search, too. By honing your home search to residences in specific cities and towns, you can speed up your quest to find the right home at the right price.

It often helps to maintain flexibility as you conduct a search for a second home as well. If necessary, you can modify your home buying criteria throughout the home buying journey.

3. Hire a Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market on your own. Thankfully, real estate agents are available in cities and towns nationwide, and these housing market experts can help you quickly and effortlessly acquire a second residence.

A real estate agent understands what it takes to navigate the home buying journey. This housing market professional first will learn about you and your home buying goals. He or she next will craft a custom home buying strategy based on your individual needs. Finally, a real estate agent will put this strategy into action and ensure you can discover a terrific home at an affordable price.

Furthermore, a real estate agent takes the guesswork out of buying a second home. If you are unsure about whether to submit an offer to purchase a particular residence, a real estate agent can offer a data-driven recommendation. Or, if you have concerns or questions at any point during the home buying journey, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to them.

If you want to pursue a second house, it helps to plan ahead for the home buying journey. By using these tips, you should have no trouble finding a second home that you can enjoy for years to come.



An ambitious home seller may be better equipped than his or her rivals to enjoy a seamless property selling experience. In fact, this individual likely will go the extra mile to ensure buyers can learn about his or her house and make an informed purchase decision.

Believe it or not, becoming an ambitious home seller can be simple. Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you streamline the home selling journey.

1. Analyze the Housing Market

The local housing market may have major ramifications on the home selling journey. If you review real estate market data, however, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market. Then, you can map out your home selling journey accordingly.

Review the prices of available houses in your city or town that are similar to your own. Also, check out the prices of recently sold homes in your area and find out how long these residences were available before they sold. With this housing market data in hand, you can distinguish a buyer's market from a seller's market. Plus, you may be able to find innovative ways to differentiate your home from the competition.

2. Evaluate Your Home

Your home – like all other residences – has various strengths and weaknesses. If you perform a comprehensive home evaluation, you can identify your house's weaknesses and explore ways to transform them into strengths.

It may be helpful to schedule a home inspection prior to listing your residence. During an inspection, a property expert will walk through your home and identify any underlying house issues. He or she next will provide you with an inspection report that you can use to prioritize home repairs.

In addition, you may want to perform an appraisal. If you obtain an appraisal report, you can receive a property valuation that accounts for your house's condition and the current state of the housing market. You then can use this property valuation to establish an aggressive initial asking price for your home.

3. Work with a Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent understands the ins and outs of selling a home, regardless of the current housing market's conditions. He or she will help you promote your residence to the right groups of buyers and host home showings and open house events. Furthermore, a real estate agent will help you review any offers to purchase your residence and provide assorted house selling tips.

If you hire a real estate agent, you can receive lots of insights into the housing market that you may struggle to obtain elsewhere, too. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is prepared to respond to your home selling concerns and questions at any time.

For those who want to enjoy a successful home selling experience, it helps to prepare for the home selling journey. By using the aforementioned tips, you can become an ambitious home seller and quickly generate significant interest in your residence.