Real Estate Tips and Information Corner

You’ll find my blog to be a wealth of information, covering everything from home and real estate tips to local market statistics and community happenings. That’s because knowledge is power and I want to be your direct connection. Please reach out if you have any questions at all. I’d love to talk with you!

 

Sept. 28, 2020

The Dirtiest Items In The House And How To Clean Them

Of course, one of the dirtiest objects in anyone’s home is the toilet. But, that’s not the only place where dirt and germs accumulate. Here are five other dirty places and suggestions for cleaning them.

  1. Bath Towels - When you and your family dry off from your shower, your bath towel absorbs the water from your body. Then it sits all day breeding bacteria that thrive in warm, moist areas. Combat this issue by changing your bath towels out every two days and washing your dirty towels in hot water to kill anything living on them.
  2. Shower Curtain - Shower curtains easily pick up bacteria the same way bath towels do. They also attract germs from the toilet if they are near each other. Clean your shower curtain by spraying it down with a bleach-based product. Spray the rings and rod, too. Also, when the shower curtain is beyond cleaning, replace it.
  3. Doorknobs - Entryway and bathroom doorknobs are exposed to myriad germs daily. Thankfully, doorknobs are easy to clean. Wipe them down with antibacterial wipes regularly.
  4. Window/Door Tracks - Window and door tracks are harbingers of dust and dirt. The grime that builds up can make you and your family ill. You can easily clean these areas by vacuuming out large pieces of debris and then spraying the stuck-on dirt with water, letting it loosen up and wiping it with a damp cloth.
  5. Toothbrush Holders - Your toothbrush holder is likely teeming with germs and bacteria. Wash it with hot soapy water twice a week. If you can, run it through the dishwasher to ensure it gets clean and sterilized.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Sept. 21, 2020

Create An Evacuation Plan For Your Pets

An evacuation plan is a necessity for every home, especially if you live in an area where fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding, and other disasters are a possibility. Many homeowners create evacuation plans for their homes and practice them with their kids, but far fewer have considered one for their pets. Take these steps to add your pets to your evacuation plan.

Assign pet evacuation to an adult. Everyone should know how to act during an evacuation, and that includes assigning one parent or adult to the pets. This allows the other parent and the children to focus on their part of the evacuation plan, so there’s no confusion during a high-stress moment when time is of the essence.

Keep evacuation maps and pet carriers readily accessible. If you need to evacuate, you should know exactly where every important item is. If you pets require carriers, keep them in a place that you can access easily.

Practice your plan. Include your pets in your home evacuation drills. It’ll help you see how they will respond and make changes to your plan if necessary. Getting your dog out of a window may not be as simple as you think!

Be prepared in case you get separated from your pets. No matter how much you drill your evacuation plan, it’s possible that a dog or cat will run off while you’re focusing on keeping your family safe. A microchip or a GPS-compatible tag can help you find your pets once it’s safe to return to the area.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Sept. 14, 2020

Must-Have Tools For Homeowners

When you own your home, things are going to break and, unless you want to spend your money on visits from a neighborhood handyman, you’re going to need to fix them yourself. Luckily, you don’t need an arsenal of tools to handle most home maintenance fixes. These five tools will cover most of your basic projects.

 1. Cordless drill. A cordless drill is a must-have for installing cabinets, drawer pulls, hinges, picture frames, shelves and hooks, and more. Whether it’s for do-it-yourself projects or repairs, you’ll use your cordless drill just about every month.

 2. Drain cleaners. Shower and bathroom sink drains are susceptible to clogs because of the daily buildup of hair and whisker clippings. You can use chemical clog removers like Drano, but they’re expensive and the lingering chemical scent is unpleasant. Instead, buy some plastic drain cleaners that can reach into the drain to pull out the clog of hair and gunk. You can purchase them on Amazon or at a local hardware store for a low price.

 3. Shop-vac. No matter how careful you are, spills and accidents will happen and there are some tasks that just can’t be handled with paper towels or a standard vacuum, like pet messes or broken glass.

 4. Loppers. Even the minimum amount of care for your landscaping will require some loppers to remove damaged branches, vines, thick weeds, and any other unruly plants in your yard.

 5. Flashlight. You’re going to want something a little more powerful than your iPhone flashlight when you’re in the crawlspace!

 

 

 

Posted in General
Sept. 7, 2020

Be A Better Landlord

Rental properties are one of the best ways to earn passive income and build wealth, but “passive” is a little misleading—it can still be a substantial amount of work. However, with a little planning and dedication, you can run your properties efficiently while also keeping your tenants happy.

Treat it like a business
Successful businesses have plans and procedures that keep things running smoothly, and the same should be true for renting and managing your properties. That means committing to customer service, outsourcing work appropriately, and paying close attention to income and expenses. Don’t just assume that you’ll collect a check each month and everything else will be a breeze.

Thoroughly vet your tenants
Collecting applications, interviewing tenants, and checking references means a lot of legwork up front, but it’s worth it in the long run. Choosing the right tenant could mean going years without incident—no late payments, no legal issues, and no property damage. Choosing the wrong tenant could mean monthly calls and visits to collect late rent, expensive property damage and repairs, eviction processes, court dates, and a whole lot of stress.

Make sure your lease is rock solid
Lease agreement laws vary from state to state, so don’t cut corners—find a lawyer who specializes in lease agreements. You’ll be glad you were thorough if you ever have legal issues with a tenant.

Posted in General
Aug. 31, 2020

5 Easy Ways to Revamp Your Porch

The exterior of your home reflects your individual style just as much as the interior. If you feel the need to give your porch a new look and feel, then check out the ideas below.

 

Plants. Bridge the gap between your front yard and porch area by introducing some natural elements. Install hanging planters on the roof of the porch and select beautiful greenery that trails down or add some flower boxes along the railings and plant colorful flowers or unique succulents.

Color. Adding a pop of color can really liven up your porch. Try painting the ceiling, railing, or front door or, if you aren’t ready for a larger DIY project yet, consider purchasing some brightly colored pillows or throws for your patio furniture or large ceramic pots.

Lighting. Changing up your lighting on your porch can make a huge difference. Start small by wrapping lights around your railing or hanging café lights across the ceiling. If you’re interested in a larger project, you can install a pendant light, rustic lanterns, decorative wall lights, or sconces.

House number. One of the easiest updates you can make to your porch area is switching out your house numbers. Some options to consider are modern, metal numbers, colored numbers that match your front door, a custom stained-glass plate, or a small mounted planter box with the numbers fixed to the front.

Porch drapes. Porch drapes are easy to install and are the perfect way to give your porch a little privacy and shade. Keep it simple with a nice white linen or spice it up with a color or pattern.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 24, 2020

Ready To Go Rustic?

Rustic and farmhouse interior design are still in, and it isn’t going anywhere any time soon! If you’re ready to hop on board this trend, try introducing some of our favorite ideas into a room in your home. Take a look below!

 

 

Exposed wood. Whether you implement this in a small way, such as a coffee table, headboard, or chair, or go big with your remodel and add wooden beams or create a plank accent wall, exposed wood is essential to a rustic-style room. Make sure to combine various wood grains, colors, and finishes to add more depth and texture.

Fur. Whether you opt for real or faux, fur can be a unique feature piece and can bring together the room. Try a cowhide, bear, or sheepskin rug or purchase a fur throw for a couch or chair.

Accent materials. Incorporate iron or stone accents in furniture and décor, such as bar stools, coffee tables, overhead lighting, chandeliers, fireplaces, mantels, shelving, candleholders, and more.

Warm lighting. To give the room a cozy, relaxing feel, lean towards warm, yellow lightbulbs instead of LEDs or pick out some unique Edison bulbs for exposed lamps and decorative overhead lighting.

Small details. The magic is in the small details. Paint wood panels white or gray and letter your favorite saying on top. Purchase wooden picture frames, farmhouse signs, terracotta pots, wood slices, and mason jars and arrange them around the room.

Bold patterns. Mismatched quilts, layered rag rugs, and check-print chairs or blankets are great additions to any rustic room.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 17, 2020

3 Important Tips To Sell Home Items Online

Whether you are looking to make more room in your home or planning to redecorate, selling some of your lightly used home items is a great way to make a few bucks. Below are some tips to sell your items quickly and safely online.

 

 

Choose the Right Site

There are numerous reputable websites to sell your home items and many that come with a mobile app for your Android or iOS device. Some popular sites include Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, Mercari, OfferUp, and Poshmark.

Represent Your Item in the Best Light

To catch the eye of potential buyers, clean the item thoroughly and do any paint touch-ups or repairs that are needed. Then take a series of well-lit, high-quality photos. Make sure you are capturing every angle of the item and inside any drawers or cupboards. If the item’s brand holds any weight, you may want to take a close up shot of that logo or name plate on the item. Pair your scroll-stopping photos with a detailed description that covers the dimensions, color, brand, damages, and any other pertinent information.

Practice Safe Delivery

Depending on the site you are using, it may have built-in shipping options available with that cost worked into the price. However, if you choose to ship the item yourself, you may want to add on a few dollars to the listed price to account for packaging and shipping. If you are doing an in-person handoff, we recommend meeting in a public place in the daylight instead of having the buyer come to your home or place of work.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 10, 2020

5 Gardening Tips For Newbies

Feel like trying out your green thumb, but have no clue where to get started. Check out these five tips for newbie gardeners.

 

 

  1. Get to know your soil. To grow a bountiful garden, you must first start with the soil. Determining whether you have loam, clay, or sandy soil can help you select the best flowers, bushes, fruits, vegetables, and more to plant. Try a soil test kit to determine this.
  2. Play to the sun. Watch the way sunlight moves throughout your yard before choosing your garden plot. A vast majority of edible plants will need at least 6 hours of sun per day to grow properly.
  3. Determine your frost dates. Don’t kill your garden’s chances of thriving by accidentally planting too early or late in the season. Make sure you know the average spring and fall frost date for your area so you plant at just the right time.
  4. Keep a close eye on weeds. After all the time and effort you put into planting your garden, the last thing you need is for your plants to be suffocated by weeds. Read up on the common weeds in your area and the safest and best way to rid your garden of them. Make sure to keep a record of these for the years following so you don’t have to repeat your research.
  5. Water and feed diligently. Morning is the best time to water your garden to allow it to fully soak into the soil before it is evaporated by the sun. Each plant is different so make sure you pay attention so you don’t overwater.

 

 

 

Posted in General
Aug. 3, 2020

5 Ways To Organize Your Closet Like A Champ

Do you desire a closet that looks like it’s straight out of a magazine? Then we have you covered! Follow the tips below to masterfully organize your closet and give yourself peace of mind.

 

 

Group like clothing items together. Group same-length dresses, long-sleeved shirts, blouses, pants, etc. together in your closet to both save space and create an aesthetically-pleasing look. Add an extra bar. Need more hanging room? You can find additional closet bars in-store or online for under $20 and installation is fairly quick and easy. Then hang t-shirts, blouses, jackets, and more on the lower bar. 

Keep things uniform. Although you may have to spend a little more upfront, purchasing matching hangers, organizers, and storage boxes will give your closet a cleaner look. 

Invest in special hangers, dividers, and organizers. Purchase a few items to make closet organization a breeze, such as a space-saving pants organizer, shelf dividers to keep t-shirts, towels, or sweaters in place, or multi-shirt hangers that can fit up to 5 garments on one. 

Try color-coding. Feeling magically inspired? Try organizing your closet by color. You can even place the colors in order of the rainbow to help make dressing easier and more fun. 

Get creative with shoe storage. Shoes can take up a lot of room and keeping the pile neat and tidy can be difficult. Consider purchasing a shoe organizer that hangs on your closet door or install rails on the wall to hang high heels. You can also purchase cabby shelving or a shoe carousel to be placed on the closet floor.

 

 

 

Posted in General
July 27, 2020

Give Your Deck A Facelift

Hanging out with your family or hosting friends on your old, dingy deck is not very appealing. Lucky for you, refreshing it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. Try your hand at the makeover ideas below!

 

 

Restore your decking. Depending on the shape it’s in, sometimes all your deck needs is a little love. If it’s still fairly new, your deck might just need a deep cleaning and a new coat of sealant. There is a multitude of deck finishing and cleaning solutions on the market to choose from to achieve this. However, if its more worn down, the rejuvenation process may be a bit longer, including searching for larger repairs, tightening any hardware, giving it a good cleaning, applying a stain, sealant, and paint, and more.

Add lighting. Ambient lighting can completely transform your outside space into a relaxing, cozy oasis. Consider adding solar lights that don’t require a plugin or battery replacement. The lights turn on automatically when the sun sets, making your deck come alive. You can also consider paper lanterns, rope lights, mason jar lamps, or small twinkle lights, depending on the style and mood you’d like to set.

Build a privacy screen. Privacy screens come in all styles, shapes, and sizes. Consider purchasing and installing bamboo fencing or lattice panels for a quick and easy solution. Or, if you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can build a wooden frame and grow climbing plants or vines or stretch outdoor fabric in between. Whichever route you end up choosing, make sure you get the most out of your efforts by evaluating all lines sight before building.

Home Equity. Getting a home equity line of credit allows you to borrow money against the value of your home. You receive usually up to 80 percent of your home’s value, minus the amount of your loan.

Retirement Funds. Homeowners can consider pulling money from a 401K or IRA account, even though they aren’t specifically meant to cover a home renovation. This option might incur additional penalties or tax payments, but maybe worth it when making improvements that will benefit them financially in the long run.

 

 

 

Posted in General