Dear Claudia: I would like to rent out my house. What suggestions do you have to make the interior more attractive before we put it on the market?


Answer: In today’s market there is great demand for rental homes. It is wise to spend the necessary time and money to make it presentable and livable for the client in a competitive market.

Making the house desirable is essential. It should have good curb appeal and an inviting entrance. The interior colors should be subdued so as not to distract clients from visualizing themselves living in the space. A fresh coat of paint goes a long way, and thoroughly clean carpets and floors are a must. It should be exceptionally clean and not have any lingering odors. Check the appliances, plumbing, light fixtures, air conditioning, heater, water heater, etc. and repair or replace anything that doesn’t work properly.

It may take a lot of work initially but a rental property in top condition could yield higher rental fees and less work in the long run.


Dear Claudia: Is it really a great time for first-time home buyers?


Answer: Yes. Prices are at their lowest, and there are government incentives for first-time buyers. Besides, when selecting a home there are more choices, therefore, it might be easier to find just the right one.

When you begin looking for a home make sure that you have a clear idea of what style of house you would like, the location, the size, etc. It also is important to hire the right loan company, which should be able to give you information about what government incentives you may be qualified to obtain and the best loan program for your situation. When you are pre-qualified for a loan, you’ll know exactly your price range. Carefully choose a real estate agent who has plenty of experience and understands what you are looking for. Ask the agent to recommend a good home inspector. It is necessary to know the condition of the house and if any repairs are needed. Take into consideration that the house might need basic changes such as new paint, flooring, window coverings, etc., and I advise if at all possible to get them done before you move in.

Buying your first home is a major commitment, be very selective and consider all options. It is not just a place to live; it is probably the largest investment you will make in your future.


Claudia Dabdoub is a resident of Ahwatukee Foothills and owner of D’amore Interior Design Studio. To ask a question for an upcoming column, reach her at (480) 751-9938 or

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