Categories Tips

How to Haunt Your House… Get Ready for Halloween!



Halloween decorations are starting to become as extravagant as Christmas decor. It’s not uncommon to find whole streets decked out in grisly styles from creepy graveyards to zombie apocalypse. So, in the spirit of the holiday here are some clever ideas to haunt your house for Halloween!

The Yard

The graveyard is a classic Halloween theme for anyone with a lawn. You can get as elaborate as you want using funny/creepy headstones, ghouls that appear to be digging out of the ground, or even ghosts that pop out to scare unwitting trick-or-treaters. For yards with a bit more shrubbery there is an endless supply of purple and orange twinkle lights that can be tucked along the sidewalk or pathways to set the mood. Our favorite are the lights in the shape of scary eyes that appear to be peeking out from behind the bushes – they are sure to give onlookers the unsettling feeling of being watched. If your yard has plenty of trees, arachnophobia could be your perfect theme! Nothing makes people more squeamish than trees full of webs and giant spiders.

Your Front Door

The front door is usually the centerpiece of a haunted house. To create the ambiance of a spooky Transylvania night, replace light bulbs with flickering candle bulbs and place a strobe light near that front door which mimics lightning, then top it off by playing some creepy music to set the mood. Cob webs are also a must if you want to make your haunted house convincing. In the entryway keep up the theme with white sheets over some furniture and a few lit candles in view. As for costumes., we still like answering the door as the classic witch or vampire, but if you’re in the mood then go crazy, it’s Halloween!

The Garage

If you really want to up the ante on your Halloween game, use your garage as a mini haunted house. The garage makes the perfect setting for frightening mazes and terrifying laboratories. The sky is the limit when it comes to dreaming up grewsome experiments for a mad scientist. Plus, daring trick-or-treaters can test their courage by sticking their hands in a bowl of eyeballs (peeled grapes) or worms (gummy worms tossed in vegetable oil). Get creative and have fun!

The Driveway Party

If you want to be in on all the action just have a get together in front of your house. Invite friends and neighbors to dress up and throw a Halloween themed party right out on the driveway or front lawn. The driveway can be a great Area 51 or UFO crash sight. Who knows what strange alien equipment is hiding under that car cover? If you have an RV it can double as party headquarters and conspiracy theory home base for your UFO themed partygoers. You won’t have to keep getting up to answer the door because the trick-or-treaters will come straight to you.

Halloween is a great time to get creative, get together with friends and family, and most importantly to have a fun and safe evening with the kids. Remember to be aware of traffic and use glow sticks, reflectors, and flashlights when trick-or-treating with the little ones. Keep steps and other trip hazards well lit when decorating your property. Also, keep open flames from candles and jack-o’-lanterns at a safe distance or use LED replacements to eliminate the risk of costumes catching fire. Have a safe and happy Halloween!

If your house is beginning to look like a haunted house year-round and it is time to sell, skip the time, money, and hassle of fixing it up and sell it to an all-cash buyer. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we buy homes as-is and in any condition. Fires, floods, storm damage, and even hauntings, no problem! Our offers are highly competitive, especially when you consider the time and money it takes to prepare a home to sell. Upgrades, repairs, staging, and of course brokers fees all cost you valuable time and money – We offer a free, no-obligation appraisal and make you an offer the very same day. If you like our offer we can close in a little as five days, it’s that simple. So, contact us today to get into the not so haunted house you’ve been dreaming of.

Categories Tips

Are Entertainment Focused Home Upgrades Worth the Price?



Many upgrades that are used for entertaining add value to your quality of life, but simply don’t add value to the sale price of your home. Some upgrades have recently fallen out of favor because of changes in technology, while others have slowly started to disappear over the years as a result of our changing lifestyles. Let’s take a look at some of the popular…and not so popular.


A kitchen upgrade is not necessarily entertainment focused but it’s almost guaranteed to pay for itself if you sell the house within a couple of years of remodeling. However, if you wait 10 years the kitchen will become a bit outdated, adding little value to the home. Wait 20 years and the kitchen will be in need of another upgrade; therefore, the investment that you made 20 years ago will now be reducing the value of your home. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t upgrade your kitchen if you don’t intend to move. The value of the kitchen remodel for you, is that you can enjoy a beautiful updated kitchen for the next 20 years, not the money you will get back from the remodel.

Media Rooms…

Not that long ago, dedicated media rooms were the most sought-after luxury. These rooms housed top of the line TVs, speakers, and stereo systems that were nicely built into the walls –

even the seating was high tech. Stocked with the latest movies, gaming, and home entertainment, the room was where you could go to escape and unwind. However, now the novelty has worn off. All of the tech that worked great in a dedicated room has become common place. Streaming platforms such as Netflix, Hulu, and HBO have all but killed the need for a video library, and smart speakers can now be placed anywhere in the home you like, creating surround sound without the need for built in anything. In the end, these media rooms get little use and end up turning into extra storage and wasted space.

Wine Cellars…

Wine cellars were once considered a luxurious home amenity, but dedicated wine rooms with tasting tables no longer impress home buyers. This is because of all the other options that have come on the market. Now, instead of a showy wine cellar, homeowners are opting to use wine refrigerators that can store up to 300 bottles. Plus, design features like a wine wall now make your wine collection part of your home’s décor. These changes in lifestyle are making the wasted space of a room dedicated to this luxury a turn off for the majority of potential home buyers.

Home Libraries…

Home libraries certainly do give a house an heir of sophistication and elegance, however styles are changing fast. Books are simply being enjoyed online more and more each day, causing peoples habits to change and their book collections to shrink. The days of built in bookshelves or built in anything for that matter are coming to an end. Buyers will be turned away by the claustrophobic feel of a room with built in bookcases. Rather than a quiet retreat where you can curl up with your favorite novel, they will now see it as an expensive tear down.

A Pool…

The pool is a big one. For a growing family or younger active couples, this upgrade is high on the list for future home improvements. It’s also one of the most expensive upgrades, but it will have the least or even a negative return on investment when it comes time to sell the home. This is because a swimming pool fractures potential home buyers into two distinct types with little grey area in the middle: they either see the pool as a wonderful amenity or an expensive and dangerous hassle. So, if a pool is right for you, enjoy it while you live in the house and be ready to take a hit when you sell.

Do You Want to Sell?

If you are considering upgrading, to add value to a home you are putting on the market, or if you are worried that your upgrades are hurting the value of your home, we have a solution for you. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we buy homes in any condition, with or without upgrades. Simply schedule a free appraisal and we will make you an offer the same day, it’s that simple. Our offers are highly competitive, especially when you consider the cost of getting your house ready to sell. Skip the hassle of upgrading your old home and get the home of your dreams fast by selling to an all cash buyer!

Categories Cash Offer, Tips

Reading the Housing Market – Is Now the Time to Sell?


The housing market has its ups and downs but lately it seems that the price of homes only has one direction: Up. This may sound like a good thing, and it is, but many professionals fear that this continuous rise in the price of housing is coming to an end. Over time the price of homes will certainly increase, but the trouble is that the market goes up and down along the way. If you get caught needing to sell your home during a dip in the market, then you could potentially lose hundreds of thousands in equity. So, how do you know when is the right time to sell?

The housing market is cyclical – historically, the price of homes rises and falls in a not so drastic five-year cycle. However, in 2008 the housing market took a dramatic dive due to a vast over extension and overvaluation in the value of homes. For some areas, this unprecedented crash in the housing market took almost a decade to recover from. The market hasn’t corrected again since that recession, so experts are having trouble pinpointing when the next dip in the price of homes will be.

That brings us to now. Industry professionals are beginning to look to 2020 or 2021 to be the start of the next recession. Although no one sees any signs of another catastrophe like the Great Recession, they do see indications in the economy that point to the coming years hurting the housing market. Instability in the stock market, political uncertainty, and a decline in consumer confidence are just a few of the critical signs pointing to a recession on the horizon. The value of homes is linked to the health of the economy, simple supply and demand dictates that if people can’t afford to buy homes then the price of housing will drop.

So, what does this mean for homeowners? If you don’t see a move in the near future and intend to stay put for at least a decade, your investment will be secure. However, selling when the market is at its peak could give you several options for growing true wealth. When the market is at or near its peak, the equity that you have in your home can be used to purchase a duplex, triplex, or several properties to rent. Rental properties generate passive income that can pay for your mortgage, even in a recession. If you wait too long and a recession settles in, the amount of leverage you have from the equity in your home will shrink, making the purchase of a rental property very difficult.

Another way to take advantage of the housing market right now is to sell high and rent for a while until the market takes a dip. If you intend to sell in the next 5-7 years, now might be the best time to get out of the housing market and use your equity to buy again when the time is right. This strategy works great for people with predictable changes in their housing needs, such as an upcoming retirement or a desire to downsize because the kids have left the house. In this situation the money you gain from selling while the market is strong will vastly outweigh the money you spend on rent for a couple of years.

The equity you have in your home doesn’t even have to be used to buy a new home; it can be used for any investment like starting your own business. You can even sell your home and not have to move. Clever homeowners who are trying to get the most out of their home before the next recession can sell to an all-cash buyer and simply rent the home back.

We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we purchase homes in the areas of Houston and Baytown, Texas. We buy homes in all conditions and at a very competitive price. By selling to us, you can skip all the cost and hassle associated with putting your home for sale on the open market. Plus, you can sell fast before the economy starts to slide. We can even rent your house back to you until the time is right to buy again. Now is a great time to sell and put the equity you have built in your home towards your next big investment. Contact us today for your free, no obligation appraisal.

Categories Tips

Turn Your Next Move into a Major Upgrade



Like many of us you probably have some issues with your current home. It could simply be that it is getting old and the upkeep and maintenance are beginning to take their toll, both on your time and finances; or, for some homeowners, their house begins to feel smaller and smaller as their family grows. Others dream of getting the amenities that they have always wanted as their careers and finances mature. Whatever situation you find yourself in, there are many ways you can turn your next move into a major upgrade.

Refinance to Secure a Rental Property

If growing your wealth and earning passive income sounds like an upgrade to you, then you could turn your current home into a rental property and upgrade to a better house. You may have built up more equity in your home than you think since the value of homes has been steadily rising for more than a decade. Work with lenders to refinance your home at a low interest rate, while at the same time pulling out enough equity to use as a down payment on your new home. Low interest rates mean that the rent you make on the old property will cover the mortgage, while you enjoy your new dream home at the same or possibly lower monthly rate. This is a win-win situation!

Use Your Equity

You could be sitting on top of a fortune, even if your current home is years away from being paid off. By selling while the market is good you can use the left-over equity to put a down payment on the bigger, nicer, newer, and more expensive home that you have been daydreaming about. If an upgrade for you means more spending money for vacations, then put down a big enough down payment on a reasonable new home to lower you mortgage. That could leave you thousands of dollars each year to spend on exotic holidays.

Get a Fixer Upper

If you are handy with home repairs and renovations, then a fixer upper could make the perfect investment for you. You can buy a home that is in disrepair for way under market value.

Depending on your skill level you could own a mansion for the same cost as an average home. Just make sure it has a solid frame and foundation, plus the number of rooms and bathrooms you require. Additions don’t add much value to the overall resale price of a home, so purchase one that fits your needs rather than expanding.

Think of the home as a blank slate which allows you to add all the styles, features, and amenities you want. It is the most affordable way to get a home that is just the way you want it without having to compromise like you would with most homes on the market. Once you have completed the renovations on the home, it will be everything you dreamed about, but for a fraction of the cost.

Sell to an All-Cash Buyer

You may not be aware, but you can get a great deal for your home without all the hassle of selling it on the open market. If your home needs even a moderate amount of work before it is ready to sell, then an all-cash buyer can get you the best deal. Rather than spending all your money on repairs, maintenance, upgrades, sales and marketing materials, as well as high fees from real estate agents, you could get straight to the point and use the cash for the purchase of your new home.

It’s all about stretching the equity you have in your current home to its max. In order for you to turn your next move into an upgrade, your house will need to be in pristine condition and ready to sell – This is where the all-cash buyer can help maximize your equity so you can get into that new home you want.

If you want to upgrade with your next move, but are afraid that your house is falling into disrepair, then sell to an all-cash buyer. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we buy homes in the areas of Houston and Baytown, Texas. We will purchase your home as-is and can close in a little as five days. We even buy homes that have been damaged from floods, fires, and other natural disasters. Contact us today to schedule a free, no-obligation appraisal and get ready to upgrade.

Categories Tips

Clever Home Design for Fall and Winter



Fall and winter are perfect times of year to give your home a bit of a makeover. Here are some clever design tips to give your home a minor makeover for the season.

Go All Neutral

One great way to stylishly update a room is to use lots of neutral tones. Neutral design has been a trend for quite some time and it lends itself well to the accent colors of both fall and winter, so you won’t have to update twice. Use a mixture of oatmeal tones on walls, upholstery, and rugs to create an elegant and sophisticated look. Complete the look with some organic-shaped lighting as a focal point and some natural wood accent furniture, like coffee and end tables. You can also add some interest to a neutral color pallet by introducing the high contrast of black and white to the room.

Another secret to pulling off neutral design is to incorporate multiple textures. Inspired by the Scandinavian way of life, the trend uses soft textures, organic shapes, and natural materials to create a comfortable, cozy, and soothing atmosphere. Incorporate wool, cotton, linen, alpaca, or leather in your design scheme. These materials are healthy, cleanable, and breathable; plus, they age beautifully and are perfect for combating the chill of fall and winter.

Black is Back

Well, it never really left. Black has continued to be a hot trend in design over the past few years and this fall and winter is no exception. As we mentioned, black accents pair perfectly with neutral designs. They also work great for creating a sleek and elegant modern design. Neutral colors are the ideal background for preventing the space from becoming too dark.

For a bigger design upgrade, it is becoming increasingly popular to use black as the primary color in the kitchen. This fall is seeing an uptick in brave bold design, and black kitchens are just one of the current trends enjoying the spotlight. Black adds sophistication, drama, and depth to the kitchen, especially when highlighted by metallic accents and well-positioned lightning, which is essential for lighting up such a dark color scheme. The important key to pulling off a black kitchen is to have balance. Black cabinets and appliances, for example, must be balanced by light ceilings, walls and floors. The finished effect is sure to give you the most stylish kitchen in the neighborhood.

Use Bold Wallpaper

For a more daring design choice to battle the cold, try some large print or patterned wallpaper. There is a large selection of colors and patterns to choose from, giving you an endless combination of designs to brighten the room. Green and yellow are both trending for the fall, as it should since yellow is one of the most cheerful colors on the spectrum. Green is popular right now and lends itself perfectly to the botanical large-scale print trend. You can bring perpetual summer into your home with some palm print wallpaper. Plus, if wallpaper is too much of a commitment, there are plenty of peel and stick options available to ensure you never have to deal with the hassle of taking wallpaper down!

Make a Statement

Adding a statement piece can be the quickest and easiest way to change the look and feel of a room. It’s all about creating a focal point – sometimes you just need to add a unique light fixture, bold colored sofa, or an oversized work of art to get the desired effect. Not only are statement pieces a great way to bring a room together and add visual interest, they make great conversation pieces as well.

If updating your homes design seems like too much work this season, or your house feels like its falling behind the times, perhaps it’s time to move. You can sell your old and outdated home, and get into a fully redesigned new home, quick with an all cash buyer. We are Gulf State Homebuyers and we purchase homes as-is and in all conditions. We offer a free, no-obligation, no hassle home appraisal. If you like our competitive offer we can close in as little as five days –it’s that simple. So, skip redesigning you home this fall and get yourself into a new home before the winter even has a chance to settle in.