Small, quick repairs have a big impact on your home's curb appeal - and value


(ARA) - As the weather continues to warm, you might be thinking about some of the home improvement projects you put on the back burner during the winter. As you once again consult your to-do list, it's the perfect time to think about a few small projects that can greatly enhance your home's curb appeal.

Where does a smart homeowner start? The answer: Begin with a few small projects that are guaranteed to greatly enhance your home's curb appeal. Whether you're preparing to sell your home, or are simply trying to protect your investment and make it easier on the eyes, there are a few common improvements that can give the exterior of your home a quick and easy facelift.

Start with the driveway
Repaving or reconstructing your driveway entirely can be a time consuming and expensive task, but for most homeowners, this can be avoided with some annual maintenance. If you neglect your driveway, cracks can quickly grow into potholes, which can cause it to lose its aesthetic appeal and pose a safety concern. A few hours work each year can greatly extend the life of your driveway.

This Visalia home has its own fitness center

3030  W Iris Ave,  Visalia, listed at $399,000.
This elegant in-town estate has a new price: $399,000.

This Royal Oaks home has it all. Enjoy a sparkling pool and spa with a waterfall. It also has a fitness center that includes a steam shower and sauna (335 square feet).

Inside this 3,108-square-foot home are floor-to-ceiling windows at the front and rear of the house, creating lots of natural light in the open living area and offering great views of a lush park-like yard.

There are tile floors in the entry, hall, living room, kitchen, laundry and owner's suite. There is a fourth bedroom/office with full bath, offering lots of privacy.

The remodeled kitchen has raised-panel cabinets, a center island with vegetable sink, roll-out shelving, pantry, and a SubZero refrigerator.

There are skylights in the vaulted wood ceiling, extending into the dining room with oak floors and another skylight - all electronically controlled.

The spacious guest bedroom wing has full bath and a 11'X16' family/computer room.

The owner's suite has a wall of windows overlooking the patio and yard with vaulted a ceiling. The three-sided fireplace splits the elegant, remodeled bath area with top-set sinks, jetted tub with leaded glass backdrop, a huge shower and a walk-in closet.

This unique property is a must see. For more information and pictures, click here.

Call Darlene Loose for an appointment today! (559) 625-9364

Tax credit and deduction tips for home improvement in 2012


(ARA) - With the new year under way, you may be thinking about needed home improvements and how you'll use your credit to fund them. While it's important to understand your credit before making major home improvement decisions, you should also consider another kind of credit - tax credits for energy efficient home improvements.

For the past few years, the federal government has offered tax credits for certain home improvements aimed at increasing a home's energy efficiency. While the most popular and generous tax credits, such as the one that allowed you to claim up to 30 percent of improvements such as a new roof or hot water heater, have expired, you can still get credit for other significant energy-efficient improvements.

According to EnergyStar.gov, you can claim a tax credit for 30 percent of the cost of installing a geothermal heat pump, small wind turbine or solar energy system in your home. The credit has no upper limit and applies to both existing homes and new construction, but not to rental properties. This credit is good until Dec. 31, 2016.