Menu

Helpful Tips

Selling Your Home? Make These 6 Improvements First

by realtor.com

 

05/26/2017

These are the bare-minimum, incredibly easy home improvement projects that will help your home sell quickly—and for top dollar.  Watch Video


Spending Spree: 5 Ways New Homeowners Waste Their Cash

So you’ve bought a home and you’re dying to improve everything!  Slow your roll before you burn through all your cash.


Once you buy a home, it's tempting to completely upgrade your lifestyle—but hang on, you may need that cash. Here are five major expenses buyers can avoid.  Watch Video

Timing Is Everything: 4 Ways to Uncover a Neighborhood’s Secrets Before You Buy

by realtor.com

 

08/15/2017

Did you fall in love with a home after one visit? Don't stop there! Swinging by the neighborhood at different times of day can reveal a lot about your potential new house and hood. Here are four different times you want to make sure you visit before you sign on the dotted line.

Watch Video


Homeowner Basics: Where is My Water Shut-Off Valve?

Picture this - water from a burst pipe filling your home and you don't know how to stop it. Scary. Learn how to turn off the main water source to limit damage.


Sure, “Where is the water shut-off valve?” may not be the first question you ask when you purchase a new home. However, it could prove to be one of the most important questions, considering how much money — and how many headaches — the location knowledge could end up saving you. Read on to find out what you need to know about your home’s main water shut-off valve.

What is a main water shut-off valve?

As you know, your home is full of plumbing. There are pipes running behind your walls and under your floors that direct Read More


You Love Your Garbage Disposal, But Do You Know How it Works?

If you had to pick the unsung hero of your kitchen, that honor might go to your garbage disposal. Not only does this appliance help keep your home more sanitary (and free of lingering food odors), but it also makes other chores, like washing the dishes and taking out the garbage, that much easier. However, because it lives under your sink, it can be easy to take your garbage disposal for granted — until, of course, something goes wrong with it. So how does this appliance actually dispose of garbage?


How does a garbage disposal work?

Probably the most common misconception about a garbage disposal is that it uses spinning blades (much like a blender or food processor) to finely dice the materials you feed it. Actually, a garbage disposal more closely resembles a supercharged cheese grater. It pulverizes waste using metal impellers (also called lugs), which are rotor-like protrusions mounted on a revolving plate. When you switch on your garbage disposal, the impellers create enough centrifugal force to drive food Read More



Protecting Your Patio Furniture: Steps for Maintenance and Cleaning

After a few seasons of exposure to the elements, your patio furnishings may start showing their age. Most outdoor fabrics and finishes are tough enough to stand up to the wear and tear of many sunny days and stormy nights, but regular maintenance can go a long way toward extending their lifespan. Here are some quick tips on how to protect your outdoor furniture.


Before You Get Started

Familiarize yourself with your furniture’s care guidelines. The manufacturer's instructions will usually specify which cleaning solutions to use and which ones to avoid. Applying the wrong products or cleaning using improper methods could damage your furnishings and void any existing warranties.

Wicker Furniture

Wicker will fade and crack if exposed to too much harsh sunlight. Cover your wicker furniture when not in use  Read More



Energy-Efficient Landscaping — Simple Ideas For Your Yard

Looking to reduce your utility bills? Energy-efficient landscaping can make your home more comfortable while conserving vital natural resources. Landscape water use accounts for about 30 percent of residential water use. Further, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 50 percent of outdoor water is wasted due to over-watering, runoff and evaporation. Besides making your property more attractive, cultivating the right trees, grass and plants is good for both your wallet and the planet.  


Use plants for shade

Landscaping to provide shade is the most cost-effective way to lower the cost of air conditioning your home. Adding energy-efficient landscaping to a non-shaded yard can create significant savings — from 15 to a full 50 percent. Compared to non-shaded areas, the summer daytime air temperature can be up to 6 degrees cooler in tree-shaded neighborhoods.

But what trees should you plant? Consider your shade needs. Deciduous trees drop their leaves in the fall Read More


Prepare for the Unexpected: Do You Have the Budget to Fund Your Next Emergency?

Home repairs can be expensive. In addition to having a home warranty, learn easy ways to begin creating an emergency fund with these tips, even on a tight budget!


When something unexpected happens inside your home, can you foot the bill? In 2016, the Federal Reserve Board asked survey respondents how they would pay for a $400 emergency. The most shocking answer? A whopping 44 percent of respondents said they would have to borrow the money, sell something to cover the cost, or — here’s the kicker — they wouldn’t be able to come up with the $400. Four hundred dollars! Are you in the same boat? No matter how tight your budget is, it is possible to set some money aside. Learn how to build an emergency fund by following these money-saving strategies.  Read More

Sewer Line?

Plumbing issues caused by clogged sewer drains can be expensive and frustrating for homeowners. AHS explains the signs of an issue and when to call in a pro.

Is My Main Sewer Drain Clogged?

Strange gurgling noises coming from your toilet. Water bubbling out of your shower when you run the washing machine. No, your house isn’t really a candidate for "My Haunted House." These are some of the signs that you may have a clogged main sewer drain line — a serious plumbing issue.

A clogged sewer drain line can impact the plumbing throughout your entire home. In severe cases, you may wind up with raw sewage backing up out of your drains. And no one wants that.  Read More

What Are Plumbing Vents?

We depend on indoor plumbing, so plumbing problems can disrupt our households. Learn what issues can cause your vent pipes not to work properly and what to do.


Why Your Home Needs Plumbing Vents

Most homeowners will encounter a plumbing issue now and then, but diagnosing the problem involves more than just checking the water pipes. Plumbing vents can also become clogged or damaged, causing stoppages and a host of other issues. Understanding this sensitive part of your plumbing system is important in order to keep drains flowing smoothly in your home.  Read More



10 Home Hacks for Every Room in Your House

Our list of top home hacks will help you organize your home and get the most out of each room.


Life is a lot less hectic when you find ways to keep your home organized, simplify storage and find DIY solutions that are affordable and easy. Here are some of our favorite clutch tips for your home.


1. Kitchen

Add personality to every meal with customized dishware that you can make yourself in minutes. You don’t need to be an artist or have special art supplies. Just grab a Sharpie® and draw your design freehand (or use a stencil for more intricate patterns) on your dishware or mug. Clean, white enamelware works well. You can personalize your creation with a name, signature monogram or even a favorite quote. To make it permanent, bake your finished design at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Tip: Start with a cold oven to allow the dishware to gradually come up to temperature. Also, hand washing will help your artwork last.  Read More

Fall Weather Safety Tips

Fall is a wonderful time of year.  The leaves are changing, the kids are back to school, there’s football to watch, apples to pick, pumpkins to carve, and the weather is especially pleasant — lower humidity and better sleeping temperatures. What’s not to love?

But fall is not without its share of hazards. Here are some tips to be prepared for whatever weather challenges may come your way this season:

Floodwaters
In short, never drive through floodwaters! Fall can often times bring with it rainy weather, and heavy rains can be a common occurrence as September and October are still part of hurricane season. So if you encounter fast moving water or a flooded roadway as you are driving or walking, it’s best to turn around and find another route. Abide by the “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” adage. You do not know the conditions under the water. All it takes is 6 inches   Read More

Basic Tools Every Homeowner Should Own

Owning a home is a good excuse to build up your toolbox, but do you know what tools are essential? AHS lists the tools that make most basic home repairs easier.

Whether you just purchased your first home or you've owned a home for many years, you can never do without a basic set of high-quality tools. You never know when you might need to perform some routine maintenance or make an emergency repair. But what should a homeowner’s toolkit include, and under what circumstances do these specific tools come in handy? Here's our list of the tools we bet you'll be reaching for over and over again.

1. Hammer Read More


Protect Your Pipes:

The Best Way to Dispose of Fats, Oils and Grease

Learn how to dispose of grease with Home Matters expert tips for proper grease disposal.
There are lots of things that shouldn’t go down our kitchen drains — like the grease from making delicious bacon. But do you know why? After it goes down the drain, it can harden and cause clogged sink pipes and eventually clogged sewer pipes. It’s estimated that fat and oil buildups cause approximately 47% of sanitary sewer overflows (SSOs) that happen each year in the U.S. Not only does this nasty sewer backup have health consequences, it can be a super pricey plumbing problem to fix.

What’s the best way to keep grease out of your drain?
Many people think that garbage disposals remove grease, but it’s not true. To avoid grease getting in your drain:

• Make sure you scrape greasy foods off your plates right into the garbage can instead of your garbage disposal Read More

How to Repair Common Driveway Problems

Occasionally repairing the driveway is part of being a homeowner. Learn what you can fix yourself, what to consider before you DIY, and when you need to hire a pro.
What Causes Driveway Cracks?

As with any of your home's other outdoor features, time and weather will take a toll on your driveway. Nor does your driveway sit idle. You make constant use of it. Depending on the driveway's age, the condition of its surface (concrete or asphalt) and the size of your budget, your options for repairs can range from a simple restaining to a complete overhaul.

Driveway cracks are often caused by water that seeps in and under the Read More

Summer safety tips

Summer is here, which means lots of fun in the sun!

Nevertheless, the weather can get extremely hot and quickly go from fun to dangerous. Extreme heat can be life threatening. So learn what extreme heat is and how you can protect yourself.

    What is extreme heat?

    • Heat storm: Generally, heat storms occur when temperatures exceed 100°F over a large area for three days in a row.
    • Heat wave: More than 48 hours of high heat (90°F or higher) and high humidity (80 percent relative humidity or higher) are expected.

    Important: Check your local weather forecast so you can be prepared for a heat storm or a heat wave.  

    Click Link for more information LINK.

    4 Affordable DIYs That Boost Home Value

    We’ve got practical and pretty blogger projects that pack a payoff.

    SHARE THISEmail ThisPin ThisTweet ThisTOPICYour Money, Save Money, Add Value, Add Value to Your Home, DIYPrint article

    Sure meaty projects like a wood deck and an attic bedroom conversion are among the best bets when it comes to investing your remodeling dollars. But there are other home improvement upgrades — like these four blogger projects — that can boost your home’s value and good looks for a lot less money.

    Click Link for more information  LINK


    Helpful Tips for a Smooth Loan Approval

    These Do's & Don'ts will help avoid delays with your loan approval.

                                                                             DO's                                                                                      

    1. Immediately inform us of any changes in your employment, income & assets status

    2. Continue living at your current residence

    3. Continue making your mortgage or rent payments on time

    4. Keep working at  your current employer

    5. Stay current on all existing accounts

    6. Advise us in advance on any upcoming vacations or business trips

    7. Call us if you have concerns or are not feeling comfortable about anything - it's normal to be nervous, this is part of the process; but if you're feeling more than that please call us as we're here to help you


                                                                                                                               DON'Ts                                                                                        

    1. Make major purchases (i.e. car, furniture, appliances or start home improvement)

    2. Apply for new credit or loans

    3. Pay off any charge of accounts, collections, loans, credit cards or consolidate your debt

    4. Close any credit card accounts, max out or over charge on your credit accounts

    5. Change bank accounts or transfer balances from one account to another

    6. Change your source of closing funds

    7. Deposit cash into your bank account

    8. Cosign for anyone

    9. Have any Non-Sufficient-Funds (NSF's) or overdrafts on your bank statements

    10. Purchase any other real estate or land

    11. Throw away any new income or asset documents

    12. Plan on moving on a certain date - delays in our business are common

    13. Be afraid to ask us questions

    Making an Offer: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

    DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS | WEDNESDAY, MAY 10, 2017

    In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Ensure your client doesn’t make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of these common mistakes.

    Delaying

    “Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties in New York. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether.” Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a preapproval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way they can pounce quickly with an offer when they do find a home they like.

    Making an offer for their preapproved amount

    Smart buyers are getting preapproved to show a seller they’re financially able to purchase a home. However, Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, Mass., warns buyers against using that document to come up with an offer amount.

    “Many buyers come in with a preapproval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” Silverston says. “An exact preapproval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”

    Submitting a lowball offer

    Lowballing a seller often backfires, particularly in a seller’s market. “A lowball offer that isn't backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely,” Sandholm says.

    Waiving inspection contingencies

    “I don't care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her – get it inspected,” urges Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, Ga. Further, if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you may lose the earnest money if you later back out of the deal.

    Not presenting yourself well enough

    In a seller’s market, buyers need to take steps to make sure they look good in the eyes of the seller. “In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” Silverston says. Buyers may want to avoid pointing out every defect, making nitpicky queries, or questioning the seller’s tastes.

    “Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.

    8 Ways to Allergy Proof Your Home

    I have learned from personal experience that it doesn’t take much for my allergies to go haywire at home from the dust and dander that build up at supersonic speed. Admittedly, this is also thanks to a little basset hound/beagle mix by the name of Charlie Bronson getting hair everywhere, as cute as he may be! (picture on right)

    Whether you have a pet or not, there is dust-free light at the end of the tunnel! You’re not alone, either – allergies affect more than 20% of Americans. In this post, we’ll go over specific ways to free your home of allergens so you and your family can finally breathe cleaner air. Here are some trusty guidelines to get the allergy proofing started. Click link below for more information.


    Click > Link


    Spring Home Maintenance Tips

    The milder days of spring are a perfect time to do a thorough spring cleaning and perform home maintenance. After a long winter, it is a good idea to spend time on preventive measures to help maintain your home and property throughout the year. Tasks such as cleaning out your gutters, checking for dead trees and branches and cleaning and inspecting home mechanical systems, such as heating and air conditioning equipment, can make spring a season of safety.

    Cleaning and maintenance of your home should be done inside and out. Although the tasks are different, ensuring all the elements of your home are in good working order can help keep your family safe and your maintenance expenses lower over the long run.  Click link below for more information.


    Click >  Link