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Ouch! 5 home features that hurt your home's resale value most, according to an Atlanta realtor

If you're thinking of selling anytime soon, you may want to dump those 1970s avocado appliances and invest in some stainless steel.

According to Berkshire Hathaway Home Services realtor Susan Castle, having a kitchen no one's remodeled in 30 years is like begging for a lower offer. "Outdated kitchens decrease sales prices dramatically, because buyers are quick to realize the money to update them will be coming out of their own pockets after the sale," she said.

You may be looking at as much as a $10,000 reduction in your list price if potential buyers are looking at an outdated kitchen. "I would recommend at the very minimum that sellers install new appliances," Castle said.

Along with taking a long, hard look at the kitchen, Castle and Kara Conway, a realtor at Virtual Properties Realty in Snellville, recommend fixing the following home features before they slash your list price.

Bad carpeting

"Update the carpeting, please!" Conway said. "Awful carpet from the '70s and '80s can really discourage buyers."

It can also encourage buyers to ask for a several-thousand-dollar replacement allowance. If you can make the switch with less expense, do it.

Part of the carpeting conundrum involves outdated colors, like blue or green instead of today's preferred neutrals. "Even if a carpet is brand new, if it's not in a modern color, it will have to be replaced," Conway said. "Old-style colors make a buyer assume the carpet is old, too."

Bath fixtures

Replacing outdated bathroom fixtures is another way to protect your home's resale value with little expense. "The faux crystal knobs and brass fixtures are very '80s," said Conway. "Replace them with a more modern option."

Bathroom counters

Laminate counters might have been a necessity when your house was built, but there's no need to keep them if you're selling. "You can replace them with granite or even solid wood and repaint the cabinets for $1,000 or so and add $5,000 to the price of your home," Conway said.

The front yard

Having a rangy lawn or unkempt gardens might burn the whole sale altogether. "Pay to have the beds weeded, the grass edged, maybe a fresh coat of pine straw," Conway said. "The curb is the first impression. If it's not presentable, you may not get any serious buyers at all."

Must-see: Tour Mike Tyson's abandoned mansion in Ohio

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New photos of boxer Mike Tyson's former mansion in Southington, Ohio, have gone viral.

Johnny Joo, a photographer who focuses on abandoned buildings and structures, recently toured the home where Tyson lived in the 1980s. 

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"As I wandered the halls and rooms of this large vacant space, I could only imagine the wild parties that must have taken place within these walls," Joo said on his website, Architectural Afterlife. The current owners plan to renovate the building and use it as a church, he wrote.

Joo is no stranger to Internet fame. In February, his photo series of snow filling a deserted Ohio mall made headlines.

Click here or scroll down to tour the home.

<iframe src="//;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//;border=false"></script>[View the story "Mike Tyson's abandoned Ohio mansion captured in photo series" on Storify]

How to throw a neighborhood block party

Whether you’re best buds with the neighborhood crowd or don’t know many of the people on your street, a neighborhood bash is a homerun of an idea for this summer. Invite everyone on your block, your street or the entire neighborhood to an outdoor party.

A summer neighborhood party reaps benefits all year long. It pays to know those who live so close to you. Then you can ...

  • Put a name with the face of the guy who walks his Lab every evening.
  • Actually meet the mom and dad of the kids your children hang with.
  • Find out how the woman down the street grows such beautiful hydrangeas.
  • Talk cars with that guy with the ’69 Mustang you drool over.

Besides, keeping up with the Joneses is easier if you actually know them.

The neighborhood 
gang’s all here

Who should organize the neighborhood party? You, of course! If you wait for someone else, it’ll never happen. Hold your bash in a couple of adjoining backyards or on the street.

“Most of us grew up in neighborhoods where we all knew each other, and the block party we had was to get that sense of neighborhood back,” said Springboro resident Cindy Schulte. “We had a blast!”

Besides getting to know chummy neighbors better and meeting ones you’ve never talked to, there are big benefits to a neighborhood get-together:

  • Whew! You don’t have to worry about what relatives or friends to invite. It’s for neighbors only.
  • It’s easy to include kids. No worries about them tearing through your living room.
  • No need to clean your house. (Most people go home to use their own bathroom)
  • Potlucking is a natural way to feed the crowd.

If you wish, ask a neighbor or two to plan with you but get started soon! Pick a date when your organizers can make it. (Hint: a Sunday night is often when many people don’t have other plans.)

Distributing a flyer is a good way to spread the word. Since postal regulations prohibit you placing them in mailboxes, ring the doorbell to hand the invitation. That gives you an extra chance to “talk up” the party.

Your flyer should include:

  • What the event is (“Springwood Drive 
Outdoor Picnic!”)
  • Who’s invited (“All the families 
on Springwood Drive”)
  • Day, date and starting time
  • Location (“Backyards of the Smiths and the Johnsons at 155 and 157 Springwood Drive”)
  • What to bring (“Bring lawn chairs, your own beverages, your own main course and a food dish to share.”)
  • Any other guidelines (such as “BYOB” or “The pool is open so bring swimming suits!”)

A word about food: potlucks are fun and simple. You and the other organizers need to round up enough tables to hold the food. The organizers can provide plates and utensils, if you wish. Whether or not you pass-the-hat for costs is up to you.

Firing up the barbecue or having fried chicken from your favorite restaurant would be a treat, of course. But that adds extra hassle such as asking for a financial contribution and an RSVP. If you do barbecue, make sure someone is in charge of 
always watching the units and keeping kids away.

Other tips: consider having name tags and possibly some group games with prizes.

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